SNOGGING Strictly dancer Katya Jones lost her husband but unexpectedly landed a new partner on the show.
The Russian pro, 29, and husband Neil yesterday confirmed their split on social media — ten months after she was caught on film kissing comedian Seann Walsh.
Katya Jones has been reinstated to the main Strictly line-up and will get a celebrity dance partner on the new series[/caption]
Producers had planned to relegate her to reserve dancer when the new series starts as punishment for the “Kissgate” scandal.
But they have now done a U-turn and will reinstate her into the main line-up with a celebrity partner.
Katya has been reprieved because show bookers signed up eight male celebrities instead of the planned seven, so they need an extra female dancer. A show insider said: “Katya has got lucky.
“She was lined up for a back-up role following the controversy of the last series and accepted she would just have to ride this year out.
Katya was caught kissing her celeb dance partner Seann Walsh last year[/caption]
Katya and Neil Jones have confirmed their split ten months after she was caught kissing Seann[/caption]
“But the way the bookings panned out, a space has come open and she’ll be part of the main series.”
Katya and fellow Strictly dancer Neil, 37, released a joint statement about their marriage split on their social media accounts yesterday.
They said the decision was “mutual” and pledged to “keep working and dancing together as well as exploring individual projects”.
The couple insist the break-up was not caused by the kissing controversy — triggered when The Sun on Sunday published a picture of Katya and Strictly contestant Seann, 33, snogging outside a pub after a late-night rehearsal.
A spokeswoman said: “The relationship has become more of a friendship.” Katya and Neil had been together for 11 years and married in 2013.
In the new series of Strictly, expected to start in September, regular back-up dancer Neil will get a celebrity partner for the first time.
He steps into the limelight at the expense of show favourite Gorka Marquez, 28.
Neil got the nod over Gorka because the Spanish star is not tall enough for many of this year’s female celebrities. Gorka will now be one of the reserves.
However, she got ‘lucky’ as bosses booked eight male celebrities instead of the planned seven, meaning they needed an extra female dancer[/caption]
Days after the snogging incident, Katya apologised during a joint appearance with Seann on spin-off show It Takes Two. She said: “I can’t apologise enough to everyone who it hurt and involved.
“But, the main thing, me and Neil are absolutely fine and that’s what matters to me the most right now and focusing on my job and doing it as professionally I can.”
Two months later Seann joked during a stand-up gig in London that Neil was gay. He said: “I’m the guy who kissed a gay man’s wife.
“Please don’t report that, I’m only joking, I’m just here trying to make you laugh.”
Katya apologised for the snogging incident[/caption]
But Neil told Sun columnist Lorraine Kelly he had forgiven Katya.
Neil said: “It was a shock. It was a major shock. I appreciated it of course that Katya told me so I found out before it appeared.
“Straight away for me I was more worried about Katya because I could see what was going to happen. It was a natural reaction.”
Neil admitted people had encouraged him to leave Katya — but added: “We have been together for ten years. I just needed to speak to Katya, I just needed to be with her at that moment and understand what was going on.”
Neil and Katya, who have been dance partners since 2008, continued to perform together following the end of the last series, touring the UK with their show Somnium: A Dancer’s Dream.
Two years after they paired up, they won the World Amateur Latin Championships in 2010, claiming the title three times in total.
After turning professional in 2013 they became the World Professional Latin Showdance Champions in 2015. Katya joined Strictly the following year.
Neil will get a celeb partner for the first time this series, at the expense of show favourite Gorka Marquez[/caption]
Neil and Katya have been dance partners since 2008 and married in 2013[/caption]
The eight victims of the Strictly curse
LOUISE Redknapp: Split from footie pundit husband Jamie weeks after the 2016 series after she got close to partner Kevin Clifton.
Ben Cohen: England rugby star divorced wife Abby after falling for dancer Kristina Rihanoff in 2013. He has a daughter with her.
Stacey Dooley: Last year’s champ left boyfriend Sam Tucknott three months after winning. She’s with dance partner Kevin Clifton.
Joe Calzaghe: Ditched girlfriend Jo-Emma Larvin in 2009 after getting close to Kristina Rihanoff.
Rachel Riley: Countdown star was married to Jamie Gilbert when she entered the 2013 series. She is now married to dance partner Pasha Kovalev, who quit the show last year. They have a child.
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Brendan Cole: Split from fiancee Camilla Sacre-Dallerup over talk of his romance with newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky in 2004.
Georgia May Foote: Corrie actress left co-star Sean Ward shortly before the Strictly final in 2015. A few weeks later she and dance partner Giovanni Pernice said they were dating.
Flavia Cacace: Pro dancer was in a long-term relationship with fellow pro Vincent Simone in 2007. A few months in they split and she dated celebrity partner Matt Di Angelo.
Ben Cohen now has a baby with Kristina Rihanoff after divorcing his wife Abby[/caption]
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