Strictly’s Ashley Taylor Dawson: ‘My children are my world’

Hollyoaks star talks about the birth of his second son

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Strictly Come Dancing star Ashley Taylor Dawson’s been talking about the birth his second son, Mason Mac.

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“I’m currently getting around five hours’ sleep per night,” he’s told Hello! magazine. “I’ve found it hard being away because I’m such a hands-on father and my children are my world. But it’s not forever. I have a fantastic day job at Hollyoaks, I’m doing Strictly – which is like a surreal dream – and I’ve got two wonderful sons. No matter how tired I am, I can’t complain.”

Ashley says his schedule is exhausting, but the opportunity to be on Strictly was too good to turn down. Ashley and his fiancée, Karen McKay, also have another son, Buddy, aged two.  

“I’m not at home very much at the moment,” he says, “but Karen is an incredible mother and, although it’s tough on her, she’s taking it all in her stride. She’s my absolute hero and this has brought us closer than ever before. She’s so supportive. This is a bigger challenge for her than it is for me because she’s the one stuck at home on her own with the baby and an excitable two-year-old.”

Mason Mac was born after the first Strictly show. “I got home from rehearsals on Tuesday morning at 1am,” says Ashely, “sat down for five minutes to unwind, and then Karen came down to say she was going into labour. It was perfect timing.

“I did have a word with Mason inside his mum’s tummy and said, ‘Come on, son, time this right for me!’ and I think he listened.”

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