AJ Pritchard recounts girlfriend Abbie Quinnen’s harrowing ‘freak accident’

It sounds awful

AJ Pritchard and Abbie Quinnen

by Daisy Hall |
Updated on

Former Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Pritchard has spoken out about the horrific moment that his girlfriend Abbie Quinnen’s hair and clothes caught fire whilst they were filming a life hack video.

The risky ‘hack’ involves dipping a rope in a flammable chemical, wrapping it around a glass bottle and setting it alight in order to cut the bottle in half to use as a vase.

However, their attempt ended in the bottle blowing up, sparking a fireball that engulfed Abbie.

The incident left Abbie with third-degree burns and doctors fighting to save her face and arms from severe scarring.

Speaking to The Sun, AJ told of his shock at seeing Abbie ablaze. He said, “It was just a complete freak accident and what is scary was that helplessness. It felt like time stopped for me. What was seconds, felt like hours to put out the flames. Abbie’s hair was on fire, her top was on fire… her body was engulfed.”

AJ continued, “We had to put wet towels on her to cool her skin, then get her from the flat in West London to A&E.”

CHECK OUT Strictly professionals salaries REVEALED


Strictly Professional salaries - SLIDER

Strictly salaries1 of 13

Gorka Marquez, £105,000

The lowest salary in the line up but certainly not one to be sniffed at, on top of Gorka's £50k Strictly salary last year he brought home an extra £35k for the Strictly Professionals live tour and £20k for the one off show, Here Come the Boys, with fellow dancer Aljaz Skorjanec.

Strictly salaries2 of 13

Anton Du Beke, £172,000

Proving that with age doesn't alway come wealth (although he's hardly broke) Anton Du Beke takes home a cool £172k after his £50k Strictly salary, thanks to his own professional tour (£65k) and regular weekend work at Alton Towers (£12k).

Strictly salaries3 of 13

Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara, £290,000 combined

Married couple Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara have an estimated household income of nearly £300k, thanks to their combined salaries from Strictly and the live tour. They've also raked in some extra cash from various P&O Ferry cruises.

Strictly salaries4 of 13

Motsi Mabuse, £325,000

New recruit Motsi, sister of Oti, was offered a starting salary of £200,00 when she joined the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel for this season. The German dance school she runs with husband Evgenij Voznyuk and her contract with German Weight Watchers brings home some extra bacon.

Strictly salaries5 of 13

Neil and Katya Jones, £334,000 combined

They may no longer be married, but in previous years Neil and Katya Jones have raked in a combined amount of over £340k. On top of their £100k joint salary, ticket sales from their stage show Somnium, as well as P&O Cruise and Alton Towers contracts, raked in plenty more cash for the former lovers.

Strictly salaries6 of 13

Kevin Clifton, £350,000

Reigning champ Kevin Clifton, who's currently dating his dance partner from last year Stacey Dooley, is thought to have pocketed up to £10k A WEEK last year appearing as the star name in dance shows Rock of Ages and Burn the Floor. He's also been working on new business ventures like starting his podcast and recording an album, which are sure to make him some extra £££'s.

Strictly salaries7 of 13

AJ Pritchard, £360,000

AJ is something of the Darling of Strictly Come Dancing, and his hefty paypacket is testament to that. On top of his Strictly salary, he's also starred on plenty of reality shows like Celebrity Hunted and Celebrity Masterchef. His work on the Strictly live shows makes him an extra £70k, as well as his work on Panto where he's thought to earn £100k.

Strictly salaries8 of 13

Oti Mabuse, £410,000

Returning for her fourth year this year, Oti is thought to earn just over £400k with her Strictly salary and The Professionals tour money. She also works as a judge on The Greatest Dancer with Cheryl and Matthew Morrison, not forgetting her various reality TV work.

Strictly salaries9 of 13

Shirley Ballas, £500,000

Head judge Shirley Ballas began on a meagre £180k – but negotiated a pay rise, bringing her Strictly salary up to a whopping quarter of a million quid per series. She's also earning a pretty penny from appearing on Panto each year, and teaching at a dance school in Streatham, South London.

Strictly salaries10 of 13

Tess Daly, £570,000

Tess is thought to earn £150k for her presenting role on Strictly Come Dancing, but a number of other work commitments hike her yearly income up to well over half a million quid. She also presents Children in Need each year and was a brand ambassador for global mega brands L'Oreal and Pandora.

Strictly salaries11 of 13

Craig Revel Horwood, £655,000

He might be the "lowest paid" judge on the panel, but residents Mr Nasty Craig certainly makes up for his "lacking" salary with his various other sources of income. For one, he is the main choreographer for the Strictly Live Tour, thought to earn him around £200k a year, as well as his work in Panto and renting out property.

Strictly salaries12 of 13

Claudia Winkleman, £829,000

Claudia is apparently the highest paid woman on the BBC's books so it's no wonder her yearly income is nearly £1m. On top of her £150k Strictly salary – the same as co-host Tess Daly's – she also earns a pretty penny for her Radio shows and various other BBC commitments. Other major sources of income are her big bucks beauty partnerships, including Head & Shoulders and No 7 at Boots.

Strictly salaries13 of 13

Bruno Tonioli, £1.85 Million

Top of the leaderboard (in the salary stakes) is Italian Stallion Bruno, who is the highest paid judge, with a Strictly salary of £250k. However, it's rumoured the quarter of a million paypacket isn't enough for Bruno, who earns SIX TIMES THAT judging on the American version, Dancing with the Stars.

After being told that there would be a wait for an ambulance, AJ’s brother, Curtis, drove the couple to Ealing Hospital where Abbie was taken into intensive care.

AJ opened up about how terrifying that journey was, “The burns were one thing, but the most important thing was Abbie’s breathing and sight. These are things that were very much a concern, one of the major things that the hospital had to monitor 24/7. When you have burns, it’s also inhalation and, as it was her face, her sight.”

WATCH 'I didn't say which ex': Curtis & AJ Play Who's Most Likely To?

LOOK! More News!

Sarah Harding: ‘I want to make the most of every second’

Kate Garraway: 'I don't know if Derek will ever have any kind of life again'

Love Island's Shaughna Phillips opens up about her eating disorder: 'I had a really bad week'

Since the incident on 19 January, Abbie has made 20 hospital visits and needed three skin grafts.

AJ gave an update on her condition, explaining that the worst was over. He said, “There are different areas and there are different degrees of burn and she will have a small scar in certain areas but with time they will heal, and other areas will heal. The most important thing was that the skin grafts worked.”

He continued, “The surgeon was very happy with the way they went and we’re seeing the improvement from week to week. It is quite overwhelming how the skim actually heals and works so incredibly.”

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us