Strictly Come Dancing curse: What is it and the celebrities who have been hit by the dreaded curse

19 August 2019, 16:40

Strictly Katya Jones and Seann Walsh

By Alice Westoby

Celebrities are hesitant to sign up for the BBC's ballroom dancing show because of the 'curse' that's plagued its contestants.

Neil and Katya Jones are the FIFTEENTH couple to fall foul to the Strictly Curse. 

The Strictly Come Dancing professionals have split after 11 years

But they're not the only couple to hit the skids after getting involved in the BBC show... 

Continuous scandals surrounding the reality show even spurred reports the BBC had struggled to get celebrities to sign up.

What is the Strictly 'curse'?

The Strictly 'curse' refers to the fact that many celebrity participants have had relationship troubles as a result of participating on the show and growing close to their professional dance partners.

Previous Strictly champion Caroline Flack has admitted that there is certainly something afoot.

She previously told The Sun: “I don’t believe in the curse, but I think lots of people have come in single and they might have met somebody or had a little romance. It’s intoxicating, Strictly, because you’re all part of this extraordinary juggernaut. So I don’t think people fall in love with people, they might just love the experience.”

Who has been struck by the Strictly Come Dancing 'curse'?

2004 - Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole

Natasha Kaplinsky Brendan Cole

Natasha and Brendan perform on the show | Picture: BBC

The first victims of the curse were newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky fell for her dance partner Brendan Cole during the first ever series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Natasha was single at the time but Brendan split from his fiance, fellow Strictly pro Camilla Dallerup, because of the affair which ended their eight year relationship.

2013 - Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev

Rachel RIley and Pasha Kovalev Strictly

Pasha and Rachel in training for Strictly | Picture: PA

Before joining Strictly Come Dancing Rachel was happily married to her millionaire husband whom she'd met while studying at Oxford University.

But shortly after the series it was revealed that Rachel and Pasha were now an item and are still happily together today and apparently live with one another.

2013 - Kristina Rihanoff and Ben Cohen

 Kristina and Ben

Ben and Kristina pictured for season 11 of Strictly Come Dancing | Picture: BBC

The 2013 series really had its fair share of scandal!

Former Rugby player Ben Cohen ended up leaving his wife of 23-years and the mother of his twins, Abby Blayney, after falling for his dance partner Kristina.

He and Kristina have since welcomed a little girl called Milena, Kristina's first child and Ben's third.

2015 - Giovanni Pernice and Georgia May Foote

Giovanni and Georgia

Georgia and Giovanni sizzle on the dance floor | Picture: BBC

This couple caused a stir during their time on the show with their passionate performances.

Georgia was dating Corrie co-star Shayne Ward when she signed up for the show but eventually they split and she started dating her Strictly partner Giovanni.

They also sadly split a year later.

2017 - Kevin and Karen Clifton

Sadly, it doesn't seem like the professionals are immune from the Strictly curse.

Married professional dancers Kevin and Karen Clifton called time on their relationship and were reported to be barely speaking during the 2017 series of the show.

However it wasn't new Strictly romances that split this pair up but other apparent reasons.

2018 - Seann Walsh and Katya Jones 

Seann Walsh and Katya Jones were forced to apologise for their actions after pictures of the pair sharing a passionate kiss emerged in The Sun newspaper.

Seann, who is dating actress Rebecca Humphries, said on Twitter: "In light of the story in today's newspaper I would like to offer my sincere apologies for my actions. "This is no excuse but it was a one-off drunken mistake which I am truly sorry for." 

Katya, who has been married to her Strictly co-star dancer Neil Jones since 2013, also apologised of the kiss insisting she loves her husband.

"I'm so sorry about any offence or hurt I may have caused with my actions," she said. 

"I wasn't thinking and it was a one-off mistake after some drinks. I love my husband and we are very happy together, this is not a reflection on our relationship."

2018 - Stacey Dooley and Sam Tucknott

After months of speculation that the documentary presenter had struck up a romance with professional dancer Kevin Clifton, Stacey split from long-time boyfriend Sam Tucknott.

A source told The Sun: “Stacey confided in her friends that she was struggling to hold down her romance with Sam because her life has been a whirlwind after Strictly.

“She barely saw him during the month-long tour and has gone straight back into filming documentaries and has been travelling all over the world.”

2019 - Katya and Neil Jones

Neil and Katya Jones have split after 11 years

The dancing pair announced that they were heading for divorce on a statement posted on social media yesterday.

It read: "Hi everyone. As our fans and loyal supporters you are really important to us and so we wanted to let you know some news.

"After 11 years we have made the mutual decision to separate.

"We will always love each other, just in a different way as friends. This will never change what a great team we make and we are really proud of everything we have achieved together.

"Our shared love of dance means we will keep working and dancing together as well as exploring individual projects. No matter what we do we will always support and respect each other.

"We wish one another every happiness and we will remain the best of friends. We are really looking forward to getting back to the ballroom and can't wait to keep on dancing. Lots of love from us both xx"

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