She was a firm favourite with viewers before her shock decision to quit Strictly Come Dancing last week.
And now Amanda Abbington has hit out at online trolls following her exit and urged everyone to ‘be kind’, saying you ‘never know what someone else is going through’.
The actress, 49, who left the BBC competition due to ‘personal reasons,’ said she’d been the subject of people saying ‘horrible things’ about her on social media.
Despite the abuse, she said she is ‘really good’ and revealed she is currently on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) that has ‘changed’ her life.
Speaking for the first time since her dramatic exit on her Boogaloo radio show, she told listeners to think about the power of their words as they could ‘push people over the edge.’
Speaking out: Amanda Abbington has hit back at trolls after Strictly exit and says ‘you never know what someone else is going through’ one week on from her departure
Quit: The actress, 49, who was partnered with Giovanni Pernice, left the BBC competition due to ‘personal reasons’
‘My thing at the moment is ‘be kind’, it’s always been ‘be kind,’ she said.
‘It’s, “you don’t know what someone else is going through, you have no idea what’s going on in their life so before you say anything hateful and cruel just check yourself.”
She added: ‘It takes so much more energy to be hateful, to be horrible, where you could just not say anything or say something positive.
‘We’re living in a world where the laptop and the phone and social media allows you to say whatever you want without any recrimination, and you have no idea what that comment could do to someone – it could push someone over the edge to do something and God knows we have to look after each other.’
Amanda, who sparked speculation of a rift with dance partner Giovanni Pernice, 33, when she failed to mention him in the Instagram post announcing her exit last week, said it was another post that promoted online hate.
The actress said sharing an Instagram story about the death of Friends actor Matthew Perry was the catalyst for a deluge of negative comments directed at her this week.
‘I put this post up on Instagram in my naivety, thinking that people weren’t going to be horrible about it but, of course, I had people being horrible about me and saying really horrible things about me,’ she said.
Backlash: The actress said sharing an Instagram story about the death of Friends actor Matthew Perry was the catalyst for a deluge of negative comments directed at her this week
Speculation: Amanda, who sparked speculation of a rift with dance partner Giovanni Pernice , 33, when she failed to mention him in the Instagram post announcing her exit last week
Despite facing the cruel trolling, Amanda said she was feeling good after three months on HRT.
She said being on the menopause treatment had ‘changed’ her life and left her ‘bouncing around like you wouldn’t believe.’
She said: ‘Three months and I’m not joking and I’m not being dramatic, but it has changed my life.’
Amanda has two children with former partner Martin Freeman, from whom she separated in 2016 after 16 years together. She is now engaged to retired stunt performer Jonathan Goodwin.
She spoke out about going through the menopause back in 2021 and said it was initially misdiagnosed by doctors as depression.
She said one of the main symptoms she’d been suffering was agonising joint pain in her wrists, hips and knees.
Last week Amanda told her followers it was with the ‘deepest regrets’ that she had to pull out of Strictly due to ‘personal reasons.’
She wrote: ‘It is with deepest regret that I had to leave Strictly. I did not come to this decision easily or lightly but for personal reasons I am unable to continue.
‘It was an absolute joy working with my fellow contestants, they are a beautiful, hardworking and talented group of people who I love and who I will miss seeing every Friday and Saturday and competing alongside.
Speculation: In an exit statement this week, Amanda thanked her team, but fuelled rumours of feud with Giovanni by failing to mention the dancer
‘I want to thank the incredible Production team and everyone on Strictly who looked after me and who are so kind and caring. It’s a wonderful bunch of people and I’ll miss all of them.
‘I’m so sad that I am unable to go any further. Thank you to everyone who voted and who sent wonderful messages and inspiring support. You are all amazing. Truly. Thank you. xxx’.
Giovanni later took to his Instagram, sharing a backstage photo with Amanda during Movie Week.
Captioning the snap, he wrote: ‘Amanda ..I am so sad we can’t continue but I am proud of what we achieved and I am sending you so much love’.
Q&A: What is HRT? by Thea Jourdan
WHAT IS HRT AND WHAT DOES IT DO?
HRT does the work of oestrogen, levels of which plummet after the menopause. Women usually take a combination of synthetic oestrogen and a second hormone, progesterone.
‘Most women in the UK take combined HRT because taking oestrogen on its own can increase the risk of developing cancer of the womb,’ says Kathy Abernethy, chair of the British Menopause Society. ‘Oestrogen-only HRT is usually only given to women who have had their wombs removed.’
ARE THERE ANY RISKS TO CONSIDER?
A major U.S. study in 2002, from the Women’s Health Initiative USA, was the first to ring alarm bells that HRT may lead to an raised risk of heart disease and breast cancer. As a result, many doctors stopped prescribing it overnight.
But the study was found to be flawed — the average age of the women in the study was 63, when the risk of breast cancer naturally rises anyway, and half were smokers.
‘The risks were overestimated for women of normal menopausal age between 50 and 60,’ says Kathy. ‘For most women under the age of 60, and for many over age 60, the benefits of HRT are clear.’
SO DOES HRT REALLY CAUSE CANCER?
Any risk comes with longer use, says Kathy.
Cancer Research UK says there is strong evidence HRT can cause breast, womb and ovarian cancer, but the chance is low compared to other risk factors. To put it in perspective, while minimising HRT could prevent 1,400 cancer deaths per year, keeping to a healthy weight could prevent 13,200 and stopping smoking could prevent 22,000.
ARE THERE OTHER SIDE-EFFECTS?
‘Women who take HRT may have side-effects including breast tenderness, headaches, nausea, indigestion, tummy pain and vaginal bleeding,’ says Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Royal College of GPs’ professional development vice-chair. Taking HRT as tablets (not patches or gels) may slightly raise the risk of blood clots.
WHO SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN HRT?
Those who have a personal or family history of hormone-sensitive cancers, such as ovarian and breast, and women who have had deep vein thrombosis. High blood pressure should be controlled before starting HRT.
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES?
Non-hormonal options include Tibolone (Livial), derived from the Mexican yam, which mimics oestrogen. Blood pressure medication Clonidine, which affects the dilation of blood vessels, can alleviate hot flushes and night sweats.
Bio-identical hormones, derived from plant oestrogens and prescribed by private clinics, are said to be similar to human sex hormones. But the NHS does not recommend these as they are not regulated.