Strictly's Nicola Adams reveals her father used to hit her as she stars in Bear Grylls' ITV show

10 mins read


She took the world by storm after becoming the undefeated WBO female flyweight champion.

And Nicole Adams talks about life growing up and the challenges she faced during a difficult childhood in Bear & Nicola Adams’ Wild Adventure set to air on ITV on Friday.

The show follows the Strictly star, 38, spend 48 hours with the survival expert, 46, in Dartmoor, where she battles treacherous weather, a rugged ascent up to a high peak before abseiling down a 150-foot cliff. 

Her story: Nicole Adams talks about life growing up and the challenges she faced during a difficult childhood in Bear & Nicola Adams' Wild Adventure set to air on ITV on Friday

Her story: Nicole Adams talks about life growing up and the challenges she faced during a difficult childhood in Bear & Nicola Adams’ Wild Adventure set to air on ITV on Friday

And one point during the trek, Bear sits down with Nicola and speaks to her about her origins and the journey she went through to become an Olympic gold medallist.

Speaking candidly, Nicola reveals the relationship between her mother and father had been ‘very abusive’, which she believes helped create her own resilience and strength.

She tells Bear: ‘It was violent and it’s not a stable environment for a child growing up. 

Battle scars: And one point during the trek, Bear sits down with Nicola and speaks to her about her origins and the journey she went through to become an Olympic gold medallist

Battle scars: And one point during the trek, Bear sits down with Nicola and speaks to her about her origins and the journey she went through to become an Olympic gold medallist

‘It was scary, it was sad, traumatic but I feel like I don’t know maybe being in all those situations are the things that made me the character and the person I am today and give me the fight and the will to survive and not to give up. 

‘I’ve never wanted to be a victim, I’ve always wanted to be ‘yeah it’s something that has happened but it’s not something that is going to define me’.’

Opening up to Bear, Nicola says the physical abuse hadn’t solely been directed towards her mother when she was a child.

She says: ‘If I was getting hit and she tried to intervene then she’d get hit as well so it was a really tough time for the family back then. I guess when I look back now it shows me how far I’ve come.’

Survival training: The show follows the Strictly star, 38, spend 48 hours with the survival expert, 46, in Dartmoor, where she battles treacherous weather

Survival training: The show follows the Strictly star, 38, spend 48 hours with the survival expert, 46, in Dartmoor, where she battles treacherous weather

Nicola also reveals that in order to make it through her difficult childhood, she clung onto the small things that made her happy, such as playing outside with her friends, or looking up to the stars. 

The boxing champion also discusses the period in her life when she told her mother she was gay.

Nicola, who is in a relationship with model Ella Baig, describes the time leading up to telling her mother as ‘super scary’.

‘I’d been going over it in my head for weeks like what I was going to say,’ she says.  ‘Asking my friends what I should say, what should the approach be, should I wait until she is watching her TV Soaps or should I wait after the Soaps, I didn’t know what to do. 

‘I didn’t know what her reaction was going to be, whether she was going to be mad, I just had no idea how she was going to respond. 

‘I remember one day just getting the courage to go and tell her, I think I was about thirteen fourteen at the time, she was in the kitchen I just went up to her and I was like “look mum” I was so nervous and I was just like “I’m gay” and she was like “oh it’s alright, just put the kettle on” and I was like “what?”

Motivated: Speaking candidly, Nicola reveals the relationship between her mother and father had been 'very abusive', which she believes helped create her own resilience and strength

Motivated: Speaking candidly, Nicola reveals the relationship between her mother and father had been ‘very abusive’, which she believes helped create her own resilience and strength 

Speaking ahead of the latest special with Nicola, Bear said it is no surprise Nicola became a champion after seeing how she coped with the conditions in Dartmoor.

He said: ‘Her personal journey is a real testament to her attitude. She’s tough and she’s honest – to me it’s her attitude that’s made her such a champion in her life. She reminds me of that quote ‘I’ve never met a strong person who’s had an easy past.’ She embodies that. 

‘She has smashed down barriers all the way in her life, even if it’s through to Strictly Come Dancing saying I want a same sex partner and I’m not going to wear a dress. She stands up for what she believes in, fights for what she knows to be right and was always protecting her mum when she was a kid. 

‘On the journey, she was pretty scared of heights but that’s natural – life is about more about how we overcome the things that scare us. Nicola was such an inspiration to hang out with and a ball of positivity.’  

Honest chat: 'It was scary, it was sad, traumatic but I feel like I don't know maybe being in all those situations are the things that made me the character and the person I am today'

Honest chat: ‘It was scary, it was sad, traumatic but I feel like I don’t know maybe being in all those situations are the things that made me the character and the person I am today’

It comes after Nicola shared the images from her trek on Instagram and revealed that the ‘amazing’ adventure pushed her limits and tested her boundaries. 

Images from the show, which airs on Friday, sees the former Strictly star high up amid giant rocks as she prepares to climb down.

While the two are also seen abseiling down a cliff edge at a great height.

A source told The Sun of the trip: ‘Nicola jumped at the chance to spend 48 hours in the wild with Bear. They filmed the show in Dartmoor and it was pretty tough going given the wet weather.

Coming out: The boxing champion also moved on to discuss the period in her life when she told her mother that she was gay (pictured with girlfriend Ella Baig last year)

Coming out: The boxing champion also moved on to discuss the period in her life when she told her mother that she was gay (pictured with girlfriend Ella Baig last year)

‘Nicola is a great sportswoman and was game for everything Bear threw at her. The premise of the show is not only to teach the stars how to survive in the wild but also to show a different side to them.

‘Bear is a great interviewer as well as an adventurer and he got a lot out of Nicola. It’s going to be a really great watch.’

Bear recently told how the duo were forced to cook an egg with hand sanitiser as he detailed their adventure during an appearance on Good Morning Britain last month.

Describing how they got creative amid the harsh weather, he said: ‘Hand sanitiser has become a thing in all our lives, hasn’t it? But so much of survival is about being resourceful and improvising.

‘So while out there, we had some eggs, but it was pouring with rain, there was no chance of a fire.

‘So we wrapped it in an some tissue, a bit of hand sanitiser, lit it and it cooked the boiled egg.’

Host Adhil Ray was quick to add: ‘Kids at home, don’t try cooking an egg like that please!’

Bear, real name Edward Micheal Grylls, the added of the sportswoman: ‘But [Nicola] was amazing, she is a true champion inside and out. We had some grim weather on Dartmoor in winter for this adventure.

‘We had the Johnny Wilkinson one beforehand, but Nicola Adams is definitely a special one, and what a hero she is as well.’

Bear & Nicola Adams’ Wild Adventure, airs on Friday at 9:30pm on ITV and is available on the ITV Hub. 

Improvise: Bear recently told how the duo were forced to cook an egg with hand sanitiser as he detailed their adventure during an appearance on Good Morning Britain last month

Improvise: Bear recently told how the duo were forced to cook an egg with hand sanitiser as he detailed their adventure during an appearance on Good Morning Britain last month

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