Loose Women star Saira Khan has told how she will say ‘up yours’ to haters by wearing revealing costumes on Dancing on Ice.
The Sunday Mirror favourite received a death threat from a member of the Muslim community when she wore a bikini on holiday and is preparing for a backlash when she steps out onto the ice next Sunday, but said she will hold her head up high and continue to defy her critics.
“I think it’s very easy for people to criticise,” she says.
“Look, I am of Asian descent, I have cultural barriers, I have religious barriers and I‘m just saying, ‘Rip all that up and go and express yourself and be yourself.’
“All my life, I’ve been told, ‘You can’t do that because you can’t wear that, you can’t say that because you’re a woman, you can’t do that because you’re a girl.’ It’s hard, it’s not easy and there are people to cut you down all the time.
“But I’m just there to say, ‘I’m going to do it, so up yours.’
“I’ve had death threats. Because I wore a bikini on holiday, I’ve had a death threat. It was from a Muslim person but it makes me go to wardrobe, ‘Can I have my dress shorter please, and can I have it backless? And can I have it as revealing as possible?’ so bring it on.
“I have so many supportive members of the Muslim community, it’s the one rogue. You have them in every community and you can’t just focus on those.”
Saira, 48, said she’s even battled objections from her own mother over taking part in the ITV show starting on January 6, but the outspoken star reveals she will not be scared into submission.
“My mum’s already said, ‘How revealing are they going to be?’ and I think that’s just to protect me and I just say, ‘If all you’re worried about is a piece of cloth that I’m wearing, then I’m really sorry, that’s not where I come from.’
“This is about attitude, it’s about overcoming your fears and obstacles, doing something that is totally outside your comfort zone, and that’s what the message is.
“I love the transformation, the hair, the makeup, the lashes, the dresses. It’s amazing. You come in looking like a dog, you leave looking like a diva.
“I represent the majority of people who want to get on, integrate in this country and be part of improving their life. I’m genuinely so happy to represent the Asian community, Loose Women, mums of a certain age.
“I’m British, I was born in this country. Yeah, I have a different culture but I’m British through and through. Cut me through and this is my home.”
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