Strictly's Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard sell poppies to commuters following backlash from viewers

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard have been selling poppies at London's Waterloo station (Credit: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing’s Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard have taken to the streets to raise money for the 2019 Poppy Appeal after coming under fire for not wearing poppies on the live show.

The 19-year-old YouTube star and her professional dance partner came under fire when viewers spotted they were not wearing poppies during their performance on the BBC show on Saturday night.

Barker posted a video on her social media accounts of herself and Pritchard, collecting donations for the Royal Britsh Legion armed forces charity at London’s Waterloo station.

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She told her 1.4 million followers: “We are here selling poppies! It’s amazing, we’re making it happen! We’re getting so many donations which is incredible.”

Barker and Pritchard, 25, faced a backlash when viewers spotted they were not wearing poppies to perform their salsa at the weekend.

Barker explained on Twitter: "We weren’t allowed to when we were dancing causeve our lift.[sic]”

She has made sure her poppy has been clearly visible in all her social media footage posted during training this week.

Poppies are traditionally worn by TV personalities in the run up to Remembrance Day on November 11th every year, commemorating all those who lost their lives in the two world wars. The annual Poppy Appeal raises money to help those serving in the armed forces as well ex-serving personnel and their families.

Meanwhile, Barker and Pritchard have revealed they have been using sign language to send secret messages to their deaf fans during the Strictly live shows, following a request from one of Barker’s followers.

Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard signed 'Happy Halloween' in British sign language (Credit: BBC)

During the Halloween week they signed ‘Happy Halloween’ and on Saturday they signed ‘Hello’ in British Sign Language.

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Barker told the MailOnline: “When I saw a message asking us to do it I knew we had to make it happen. We started doing it a couple of weeks ago and we will continue to do it every week.

“It was such a lovely feeling getting messages from those who saw our signing. I always want my fans to feel noticed, loved and included so this is just part of that, and I’m so happy AJ was up for it too.”