AJ Pritchard’s girlfriend Abbie Quinnen on suffering severe burns: ‘I thought that was it for me’


Abbie Quinnen has made her first TV appearance since suffering severe burns during a social media stunt that went wrong.

Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Pritchard and his girlfriend Quinnen, who is also a dancer, were filming a “life hack” in January that aims to demonstrate how a glass bottle can be cut in half and used as a vase.

The technique involves dipping a rope into a flammable chemical, wrapping it around the bottle and lighting a flame. However, the glass exploded and set Quinnen’s upper body on fire.

Quinnen was admitted to intensive care before being transferred to Chelsea and Westminster’s specialist burns unit.

In her first TV interview since the incident, Quinnen appeared on ITV’s Lorraine alongside Pritchard.

Recalling the social media stunt, she said: “We watched the video straight before we did it, to watch step-by-step and everything and unfortunately, it just went horribly wrong.

“I was stood about four metres away from AJ and it went up, straight away, it went straight across the room and it caught my hair instantly and then, unfortunately, my body as well, my clothes.”

Host Lorraine Kelly asked: “AJ you didn’t panic, you sort of went into survival mode, didn’t you?”

To which the professional dancer replied: “Seconds feel like a lifetime. When Abbie hit the floor and tried to roll and grabbed a blanket to put the fire out, at the same time I was grabbing wet towels to put on the areas, calling the ambulance, going to A&E. It felt like a whole year within a second.”

Quinnen said she questioned whether she could survive from the accident at the time. “When I was on fire, I was just thinking, ‘How can I survive, how can I get myself out of this situation?’ so I don’t actually remember it being that painful,” she said.

“I think I was just in shock and trying to think how can I put this out, basically.”

She added that she feared her face would never be the same after suffering third-degree burns.

“When it happened I was just thinking the worst,” she said. “My face is never going to look the same again, I’m always going to have scars on my body, I’m never going to be able to dance or perform and do what I love doing, so I instantly thought that was it for me. Luckily my face is healing really well.”

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