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DWTS Celia Pacqola on her post-show weight loss

Now To Love logo Now To Love 30/03/2020 Rebecca Sullivan
Jarryd Byrne et al. posing for the camera: Dancing With The Stars Australia 2020 winner, comedian Celia Pacqola, has some amazing post-show weight loss results, with the Rosehaven, Utopia and Have You Been Paying Attention star losing 6kg during three months. © Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd Dancing With The Stars Australia 2020 winner, comedian Celia Pacqola, has some amazing post-show weight loss results, with the Rosehaven, Utopia and Have You Been Paying Attention star losing 6kg during three months.

For the past three months, Aussie actress and comedian Celia Pacquola has begun each week exactly the same way.

"Normally on a Monday, I wake up and feel dusty, and I have to go and learn a new dance," says the hilarious star of Utopia, Rosehaven and Have You Been Paying Attention?.

But speaking to Now To Love just hours after been crowned the winner of Dancing With The Stars on Sunday night, it dawned on Celia that the intense dancing schedule she'd been adhering to for the past 12 weeks had suddenly ground to a halt.

"It's the weirdest thing. This is the first day that I've woken up and there is no dancing. I have no more dances to learn now," she said.

It was a bittersweet realisation for the 37-year-old. While she's sad to see the show end, she'll looking forward to a well-earned break.

"I'm excited. I'm going to have a bit of a lie down," she joked.

Celia says she is particularly grateful the show was able to see out its season, albeit with some adjustments, to ensure the safety of its cast and crew amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The grand finale was brought forward a week, the live studio audience was scrapped, and as a precaution, celeb contestant Christian Wilkins performed his routine with dance partner Lily Cornish remotely, after he was required to self-isolate following his father Richard Wilkin's shock COVID-19 diagnosis.

"The longer it [the coronavirus pandemic] went on, the more important we felt it was to give people something silly and light and fun to turn to," Celia explained.

"I'm just so glad we were able to finish the season."

Jarryd Byrne et al. smiling for the camera: Celia and her dance partner Jarryd pictured with their well-earned mirrorball trophies.

Celia and her dance partner Jarryd pictured with their well-earned mirrorball trophies.
© Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd

Like so many of her colleagues in showbusiness, she is uncertain about what her work schedule is going to look like for the rest of 2020, although she did factor in a short period of rest post-filming.

"I knew I was doing Dancing With The Stars ... I didn't know I was going to get to the end, but I was always planning on having some downtime," she explained.

"But pretty much, the entertainment industry doesn't exist right now. If you're a stand up comic, the one thing you need to do your job is a crowd."

In the meantime, she'll be filming a "bunch of online content", with her regular filming spots on shows like Have You Been Paying Attention? on hold for now.

a woman posing for a picture: Celia regularly performs stand-up, a part of her career that is on hold for now, due to the coronavirus pandemic. © Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd Celia regularly performs stand-up, a part of her career that is on hold for now, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A happy side effect of Celia's intense 12-week dance schedule has been a huge boost to her fitness.

"When we started, I couldn't even get through a routine," she said.

"A minute and a half doesn't seem like a lot, but dancing is so hard. My dance partner Jarryd always says 'You're not doing it right unless everything hurts'. Your body is working all the time. It's just physically gruelling. My body is ruined. It just accepts that I am sore, all the time," she laughed.

Now, she says she's the "buffest I've ever been".

"It's crazy, I've lost 6kg. I've got a core!" she joked.

"It turns out, doing five hours of exercise a day affects your fitness!

"I'm the buffest I've ever been in my life and now I reckon I've got two weeks in isolation to undo it all."

a woman wearing a black dress: Celia says she lost 6kg in three months over the course of filming. © Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd Celia says she lost 6kg in three months over the course of filming.

The $50,000 prize money will be donated to Celia's chosen charity, the Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre, a frontline domestic violence organisation based in Victoria, where Celia is from, which operates 24/7.

"I can't tell you how happy it makes me to give them that $50,000," Celia said.

"I just think a lot of women don't know that they exist and if they are feeling at risk, or someone they know is at risk, they can call them."

With many experts in the family violence sector warning of a spike in abuse cases over the coming months as Australians are ordered to stay at home in self-isolation, Celia says it's more important than ever to promote these support services.

"It breaks my heart and a lot of women who are going through [domestic violence], it's really hard to have the confidence to get this help, which is why I think it's such an important service."

"I'm just happy to get the word out about them."


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