Strictly Come Dancing: Hamza Yassin's mum's pride at former Wellingborough School pupil's achievement

The Strictly celebrity attended Wellingborough School for four years
Hamza and his parentsHamza and his parents
Hamza and his parents

The mum of Strictly Come Dancing star and former Wellingborough School pupil Hamza Yassin says she’s incredibly proud as he prepares for the show’s final.

Ilham Karrar and her family have become the topic of many conversations across the county, especially within the walls of Kettering General Hospital where Ilham and her husband Ahmed Yassin both work.

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Ilham said: “Whenever someone in the hospital sees me, they want talk to me about Hamza, then I take a few steps and suddenly someone else stops me. I have started coming into work 45 minutes before my clinic is due to start so that I have enough time to talk to everybody.

“I’ve even had patients congratulate me and talk to me about Hamza while I am delivering their baby or operating.

“I’ve been working in Kettering for a long time and getting all this recognition is a bit overwhelming sometimes, especially for Hamza. He is quite a shy person and lives in a village in Scotland made up of about 30 houses, so having so much publicity is something that he finds hard to handle.”

Hamza moved around a lot with his family when he was younger because of his parents’ medical rotations which used to take place in different hospitals across the country. Ilham first worked in the Newcastle area and the places she lived in included North Shields and Whitehaven.

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She said: “I was frequently moving into new hospitals and that meant relocating the children to new schools six to seven times. This did affect their childhood, but it helped them to become very understanding and adaptable people.

“We finally settled in Northampton in 2001 and have lived there since. But at first it was difficult to find a good school in the county for Hamza because he suffers from dyslexia. Some schools refused to get him tested for a learning difficulty because they just thought he was struggling because English was not his first language.

“But I knew that was not the case and so did Wellingborough School which is where he finally got tested for dyslexia. I cannot praise that school enough, they really helped Hamza blossom.”

Ilham and her family will be travelling to London on Saturday to watch the Strictly final live. Understandably, Hamza’s mother is understandably experiencing a lot of emotions alongside pride.

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She said: “Hamza has never had any dance lessons or experience, but when he puts his mind to something, he achieves it. That is what has bought him so far.

“I am feeling very nervous, because Hamza has come all this way. He is going to be performing three dances on Saturday which is a lot. It is anybody’s guess who will get the trophy but this whole journey and getting to the final has changed Hamza’s life.

“We always knew Hamza had rhythm; the first time I saw him dance was at his brother’s wedding. I saw him doing a very complicated routine, but then I was told the dance is called the Macarena and that it’s very common. I didn’t know that though and was very impressed!”