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Bop, skip and jump Dancing With the Stars' Matthew McNabb reveals embarrassing nickname he had as teen

Matthew says his old GAA coach is responsible for giving him the nickname 'Skip'


Matthew MacNabb

Matthew MacNabb

Matthew MacNabb

Matthew MacNabb has revealed the embarrassing nickname he had as a teenager.

The Downpatrick native admitted that people called him 'Skip' when he was growing up because his dad owned a waste management company.

"It was my old GAA coach that started it," he revealed to the Sunday World.

"He started calling me Jamie Skip because I look like Jamie Clarke, the Crossmaglen footballer. And then he asked about my dad and called me Jamie Skip and it eventually turned into Skip. That's the evolution of me," he laughed.

Matthew added that the moniker haunted him until he moved to California after finishing his MBA in 2019.

"Literally everyone called me Skip. People didn't know my name. It was just Skip," he said.


Matthew with his dance partner Laura Nolan

Matthew with his dance partner Laura Nolan

Matthew with his dance partner Laura Nolan

"I was called Skip right through my teenage years, right until I moved to San Diego. Everybody called me Skip. My mum was nearly calling me Skip at one stage. It was funny, like."

The 26-year-old shot to fame after appearing on Love Island last summer and is now competing on this season of Dancing with the Stars.

He admitted that he struggled with the dance contest at first because he found it "tough mentally."

"It's incredibly mentally challenging, especially the first couple of weeks because I was getting negative feedback from the judges even though I was putting in 7 to 10-hour days. It's pretty tough to do that every single day and then at the end of it getting the negative feedback.

"But it's nice when you get the boosts from that. It's definitely a journey and it's tough mentally but you just have to keep pushing and grinding every single day and hopefully by the end of it, you're a more mentally tough person."

Matthew said that viewers should expect a fun and exciting routine from him and his partner Laura Nolan in tonight's dance fest.

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"What's in store this week is it's high tempo, it's salsa, and it's X by the Jonas Brothers but a reggaeton version. It's very intimate, very salsa. It's a reggaeton/salsa routine with a lot of lifts.

"I think it's very exciting to watch. I was recording myself and it is pretty exciting to watch so I think the audience will love it if it's correctly pulled off."

MacNabb will hope to wow the voting public as well as the tough-talking judges tonight to avoid being the third celebrity to be kicked off the show.

He is the bookies' favourite to go tonight but will not let that get in the way of him trying to wow audiences.

Two weeks ago author and former Sunday World journalist Cathy Kelly became the first to go and last week comedian Neil Delamere joined her after his Ghostbusters routine scared off voters instead of impressing them on the popular Movie Week.

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