On Saturday night’s episode of the show (12 November), the actor danced the Waltz with his professional partner Nancy Xu to the song “Three Times a Lady”.
He chose the track because his late father used to sing it to his mother.
In the introduction before the dance, Mellor was shown on a video call with his mother, saying he wanted to use the dance to “pay my respects to my dad”.
Mellor’s father, Bill, died in 2020, just two weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.
Due to social distancing guidelines in place during 2020, Mellor was unable to comfort his close family in person.
After the Waltz, which earned 38 points from the judges, Mellor was very tearful and unable to speak. He did address the camera at one point to tell his children watching at home that he was OK and not to be worried about him.
Many Strictly viewers were moved by the scenes, especially given that Matt Hancock, the former health secretary who broke his own Covid guidelines, is also currently appearing on a reality show: I’m a Celebrity.
“Will has made me cry buckets,” tweeted one fan.
“Will Mellor crying on #bbc #strictly about losing his dad during covid and his dance partner Nancy saying it’s for people who didn’t get to say good bye to their loved ones while Matt Hancock is about to be on the other side justifying himself,” posted another.
A third wrote: “After watching Will Mellor dance that Waltz dedicated to his father passing away during the Covid pandemic really makes watching Matt Hancock asking for forgiveness while trying to shill a book changing the narrative on his role in it all stick in my craw all the more #Strictly.”
A fourth wrote: “Will and Nancy’s dance on #Strictly and the message is such a harsh contrast with Matt Hancock’s pathetic performance on #ImACeleb. Just highlights the absurdity really doesn’t it?”
— BBC Strictly ✨ (@bbcstrictly) November 12, 2022
— Ryan Glendenning (@RyanGSoapKing11) November 12, 2022
— Uzoamaka🙌🏿💡💃🏾🌞💕🙏🏿 (@TashAmaka) November 12, 2022
— Libby Phelan (@libby_phelan) November 12, 2022