Strictly's Neil Jones ditches his wedding ring as he is seen for the first time since announcing his split from co-star wife Katya

  • The couple announced the end of their 11 year romance on Instagram on Sunday
  • Neil and Katya married in an idyllic ceremony in London in 2013
  • The story of their romance played out in their stage show Somnium: A Dancer’s Dream, which they toured with until June this year
  • The split comes 10 months after Katya was seen kissing her Strictly dance partner Seann Walsh in the street
  • She was the first to break her silence following the split with a ring-free Instagram snap posted on Monday, which Neil 'liked' 

They announced they have decided to split on Sunday following an 11-year romance - and Strictly dancer Neil Jones was seen for the first time since then on Monday. 

The 37-year-old wore a big smile on his face as he headed to the first day of rehearsals ahead of the show's start date in September.

Neil was without his wedding ring for the outing, just hours after Katya, 30, shared a picture in which she wasn't wearing her own. 

Ring the changes: Strictly's Neil Jones was pictured for the first time since announcing split from wife Katya as he headed to day one of rehearsals after ditching his wedding band

Ring the changes: Strictly's Neil Jones was pictured for the first time since announcing split from wife Katya as he headed to day one of rehearsals after ditching his wedding band

 

Ring: Katya has broken her silence since announcing the split, by sharing a snap, which Neil gave a like - she too has ditched her wedding ring

Ring: Katya has broken her silence since announcing the split, by sharing a snap, which Neil gave a like - she too has ditched her wedding ring 

The dancer, who has had a promotion on this season, so he will now be paired with a celebrity, was casually dressed, wearing a T-shirt and tracksuit. 

He carried his lunch in his hand and appeared to not have a care in the world - no doubt pleased that he and his ex have managed to remain friends. 

He was also seen talking to fellow Strictly pros, Karen and Kevin Clifton - they announced the end of their marriage in March 2018, but remain close. 

Also pictured arriving on the day was this year's oldest celebrity, Anneka Rice, 60, who was also the last name in the line-up to be announced. 

She was followed in by Lioness footballer Alex Scott, 34, who was no doubt more at ease with the prospect of rehearsals, having taken part in a Strictly spin-off. 

On the go: Neil was eating his lunch on the go as he no doubt had a very busy schedule

On the go: Neil was eating his lunch on the go as he no doubt had a very busy schedule 

SOS! Neil was no doubt seeking advice from a couple of other friendly exes, Karen and Kevin Clifton, who remain close regardless of their split

SOS! Neil was no doubt seeking advice from a couple of other friendly exes, Karen and Kevin Clifton, who remain close regardless of their split

Deep in thought: Neil was dressed casually for the occasion in his tracksuit, T-shirt and trainers
Styled: He had his hair blow-dried to perfection as he headed to work

Deep in thought: Neil was dressed casually for the occasion in his tracksuit, T-shirt and trainers 

Carbs: Neil, Kevin and Karen were making sure they had plenty of energy for the day

Carbs: Neil, Kevin and Karen were making sure they had plenty of energy for the day

James Cracknell was no doubt concerned about what moves he'd be able to pull after he recently collided with a taxi while cycling through London. 

The Olympic rower, 47, suffered a busted finger and road rash from the accident, but vowed to plow ahead with rehearsals for the BBC dancing show. 

Joining Anneka, Alex and James was the likes of DJ and radio presenter Dev Griffin, 34, who admitted he's hoping to win the series this year. 

BBC Breakfast's Mike Bushell, 53, was spotted arriving, and will be hoping to make an impression on viewers after years of being mistaken for 2009 winner Chris Hollins, he revealed. 

Here come the stars: Mike Bushell (left) and Anneka Rice (right) were also pictured arriving at dance rehearsals
A sneak peek: Anneka had a big smile on her face as she made her arrival

Here come the stars: Mike Bushell (left) and Anneka Rice (right) were also pictured arriving at dance rehearsals

No more Rover's Return: Catherine Tyldesley was also seen arriving in her gym gear

No more Rover's Return: Catherine Tyldesley was also seen arriving in her gym gear 

Contenders: Catherine shared this picture of everyone posing together in rehearsals

Contenders: Catherine shared this picture of everyone posing together in rehearsals

Sporty: Footballer Alex Scott was wearing a big smile on her face
Low-key: She was dressed casually in a denim jacket and leggings

Sporty: Footballer Alex Scott was wearing a big smile on her face

Catherine Tyldesley, 35, looked ready to work up a sweat as she was spotted heading inside in her sportswear, with comedian Chris Ramsey and Paralympian Will Bayley following on behind.  

Meanwhile, Katya made no mention of the demise of her marriage in her latest Instagram post, which was uploaded on Monday morning and showed her wearing a bright orange and pink fluffy gown. 

The Russian beauty rested on an outdoor step for the shot, in which she posed with her arms folded, while her ring finger was notably bare — and her estranged husband Neil showed his approval by liking the image.

Captioning the playful pic, she wrote: 'Ever wondered how I dress on Monday morning? 

New names: British actor Devin Griffin is also a radio presenter and  DJ

New names: British actor Devin Griffin is also a radio presenter and  DJ

British athlete: James Cracknell appeared in fine health as he jumped out his car
Oops! He had been involved in a bike collision with a London taxi but all appears well now

British athlete: James Cracknell appeared in fine health as he jumped out his car 

'Yeah... just a casual boring outfit. #happymonday #newweek #chicken #layingeggs #strictly #strictlycomedancing #dancer #feathers #outfit.' 

Her post came a day the dancing exes took to Instagram to announce the end of their marriage as they confirmed they are parting ways just 10 months after she was seen kissing her Strictly dance partner Seann Walsh in the street. 

In their announcement, the couple penned: '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.'

So what have you been up to? Kevin and Karen appeared to have much to be talking to one another about

So what have you been up to? Kevin and Karen appeared to have much to be talking to one another about

Professionals: Oti Mabuse and Graziano Di Prima were also pictured heading inside

Professionals: Oti Mabuse and Graziano Di Prima were also pictured heading inside 

Lads, lads, lads: Gorka Marquez (left) and Giovanni Pernice (right) were dressed casually for the occasion
Food to go: Giovanni was glued to his phone

Lads, lads, lads: Gorka Marquez (left) and Giovanni Pernice (right) were dressed casually for the occasion

On his way: Anton Du Beke was pictured arriving in a smart shirt and shorts after he had been rumoured to be getting the new judge slot - which went to Oti's sister

On his way: Anton Du Beke was pictured arriving in a smart shirt and shorts after he had been rumoured to be getting the new judge slot - which went to Oti's sister 

Neil and Katya were dating for five years when they wed in an idyllic ceremony in London in 2013. The story of their romance played out in their stage show Somnium: A Dancer’s Dream, which they toured with until June this year.

In the last known picture of Neil and Katya, the couple seemed strained as they joined the rest of their Strictly co-stars in heading to rehearsals last month. 

Their news will comes as a shock to many fans, with their announcement continuing: '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 projects... 

Heartache: Strictly stars Katya and Neil Jones announced on Sunday that they had split after 11 years of marriage (pictured in November)

Heartache: Strictly stars Katya and Neil Jones announced on Sunday that they had split after 11 years of marriage (pictured in November)

 

Ahem: The Russian beauty, 30, and her partner, 37, took to Instagram to announce the news on Saturday to confirm the news that they were parting ways just 10 months after she was seen kissing her Strictly dance partner Seann Walsh in the street

Ahem: The Russian beauty, 30, and her partner, 37, took to Instagram to announce the news on Saturday to confirm the news that they were parting ways just 10 months after she was seen kissing her Strictly dance partner Seann Walsh in the street

The last shot... In the last known picture of the couple, Neil and Katya seemed strained as they joined the rest of their Strictly co-stars in heading to rehearsals last month

The last shot... In the last known picture of the couple, Neil and Katya seemed strained as they joined the rest of their Strictly co-stars in heading to rehearsals last month

'We will remain the best of friends': Katya and Neil's announcement

Hi everyone, as our fans and loyal supporters you are really important to us and so wee 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 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

'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'. 

Katya's kiss with Seann caused ructions as they were seen locking lips in the street, on what transpired to be his then-girlfriend Rebecca Humphries' birthday. 

In what became a huge scandal, actress Rebecca took to Twitter when the images came to light to release an open letter aimed at the comedian.   

She hit out at Seann in a statement, revealing the images of him kissing Katya were taken after he told her they were going for 'a quiet drink'. 

In her statement, Rebecca revealed she had suspicions about her boyfriend cheating for at least three weeks, but claimed when she brought it up, he called her a 'psycho' and accused her of being 'nuts'.

Rebecca revealed she had left him and taken the cat and was 'not sorry' for doing so. She accused the star - her partner for more than five years - of 'inappropriate and hurtful' behaviour. 

Pained: Their news will undoubtedly comes as a shock to fans, with their announcement continuing: 'We will always love each other. just in a different way as friends' (pictured in April)

Pained: Their news will undoubtedly comes as a shock to fans, with their announcement continuing: 'We will always love each other. just in a different way as friends' (pictured in April)

Kind: Neil's sister Terri shared a sweet message of support to both her brother and Katya

Kind: Neil's sister Terri shared a sweet message of support to both her brother and Katya

Shocking news: Seann has been in a relationship with actress Rebecca for more than three years and Katya has been married to Neil Jones for five years
Shaken: While Seann's romance ended instantaneously, Neil vowed to stand by Katya in her hour of need

Shocking news: Seann had been in a relationship with actress Rebecca for more than three years when the scandal came to light while Katya and Neil had been together for 10 

Seann and Katya: How the Strictly scandal unravelled 

Wednesday night (October 3): Walsh is seen kissing Jones outside a London pub while his girlfriend Rebecca was at home alone on her birthday

Saturday afternoon: Walsh and Jones perform on Strictly and Rebecca is seen cheering him on in the crowd, appearing to cry with pride at his performance

Saturday night: Photos finally emerge of Walsh and Jones kissing passionately, as Walsh and Rebecca are pictured leaving the Strictly studio looking glum

Sunday night: Walsh and Jones release apologies on Twitter two minutes apart, with both claiming it was a 'one-off' mistake.

Monday night: Rebecca finally breaks her silence on Twitter, as it is also revealed that Strictly bosses plan to tone down the 'sexiness' of Walsh and Jones' dance on Saturday

While Seann's romance came to a crashing close, Neil vowed to stick by his wife as he insisted they had worked through their troubles. 

Katya issued a statement regarding the scandal, as she tweeted: '"I’m so sorry about any offence or hurt I may have caused with my actions...

'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.'

In March, Neil spoke about how they were impacted by the kissing scandal, as he told the Daily Mail: 'It was a shock and we had to work it out between ourselves, to understand what had happened... 

'But I wasn't going to allow that one little thing to get in the way of ten very happy years. People have said to me, "Why didn't you feel this? Why didn't you say that?"...

'For me, the initial reaction was to stay calm. I didn't want to run around in a panic, because that's not me...

'I'm private. I'm also quite positive. I wanted to speak to Katya – we had to sort it out privately.'

He went on to bashfully admit that it was his mother who helped persuade him to forgive his wife and move on. 

He went on: 'Mum always said people make mistakes and you have to be understanding.

"It was a mistake, and we're here now, together, moving on.'

STRICTLY COME DANCING 2019: WHO ARE THE STARS?

Doing the funny fandango: Chris is known for his career in comedy

Doing the funny fandango: Chris is known for his career in comedy

Name: Chris Ramsey

Age: 32

Famous for? Comedian and TV presenter

About Chris: With two series of The Chris Ramsey Show under his belt, he is also a regular face on other entertainment shows such as Celebrity Juice, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Live at the Comedy Store. He has also appeared on TV hosting Stand Up Central, and I’m a Celebrity: Extra Camp. In addition to his television work, Chris has also completed sell-out tours across the UK. Chris finished touring the UK last year with his 106 date stand-up tour Chris Ramsay Live 2018: The Just Happy To Get Out of the House Tour.

Chris says: 'I’m both excited and absolutely terrified to be doing the show. You will not find me on the dance floor at parties, you will find me at the buffet table. All night. At my wedding I danced with my wife; that one song took about 6 months practice, and I definitely stood on her feet a couple of times. So I’m looking forward to the possibility of making a fool of myself in front of millions of people… there better be a buffet after the live shows!'

Waltzing from Walford: Emma plays Honey Mitchell on EastEnders

Waltzing from Walford: Emma plays Honey Mitchell on EastEnders

Name: Emma Barton

Age: 42

Famous for? Playing Honey Mitchell in EastEnders from 2005 to 2008, then returning to the roll from 2014 to present.

About Emma: As well as many on screen roles, Emma is also an accomplished stage actress with theatre credits including: Roxie Hart in Chicago; Dolly in the National Theatre’s production of One Man Two Guvnors; Vera in Doctor in the House; Lily in Annie; Marty in Grease; Eileen in Over the Moon. She recently ran the London Marathon as one of Dame Barbara Windsor’s ‘Revolutionaries’, in aid of Dementia Revolution.

Emma says: 'As possibly one of the biggest Strictly fans on the planet, I still can’t believe this is happening. I’m very much a dance around your handbag kinda girl, but now I've been given this wonderful opportunity to learn all the different styles of dancing from the very best in the business. So, I’m whipping off Honey's Minute Mart tabard & diving right in to all the glitter & sparkle. From Albert Square to the Strictly dance floor - I just can’t wait!'

From football to foxtrot: David is a goalkeeper, artist and pundit

From football to foxtrot: David is a goalkeeper, artist and pundit

Name: David James MBE

Age: 48

Famous for? Former England No.1 goalkeeper.

About David: Starting his career at Watford, David went on to play for a number of clubs including Liverpool, where he lifted the League Cup in 1994-95, and Portsmouth, whom he helped to FA Cup success in 2007-08. He amassed 53 caps for his country over an international career spanning 13 years and was first choice at both Euro 2004 and the 2010 World Cup. David, who has worked as a football analyst for the BBC & BT Sport, was awarded an MBE in 2012 for services to football and charity, and hung up his boots in 2013 after finishing his career at Icelandic club IBV. Aside from football James has also modelled for Giorgio Armani and H&M as well as being an avid artist, and was the illustrator on the book Harry's Magic Pockets: The Circus.

David says: 'I'm really excited to be on Strictly this year. Not just competing against this year's stars, but being compared to previous sport stars from previous Strictly seasons. I have some big shoes to fill, #LetsGetLive.'

From the Tube to the twist: Saffron Barker is a YouTube star

From the Tube to the twist: Saffron Barker is a YouTube star 

Name: Saffron Barker

Age: 19

Famous for? Boasts over two million YouTube subscribers 

About Saffron: Famous for her blend of make up, shopping and challenge videos on YouTube, the teen has made an estimated $1million since she started to make videos in 2015. The released her book My Perfectly Filtered Life in 2018. Before kick starting her solo YouTube career in 2015, Saffron was a part of a girl band called ‘Born2Blush’ with friends Libby Whitehouse, Jazmine Tiley and Georgia McNarmara. The teenager only turned 19 a week before her Strictly announcement and lives at home with her mum, dad and three brothers.

Saffron says: 'Everyone keeps thinking I'm going to be really good. Sorry to disappoint everyone but I don't think I'm going to be. I'd rate myself maybe a four, that's not great!'

 

From the Rovers Return to the rumba: Former Corrie star  Catherine Tyldesley

From the Rovers Return to the rumba: Former Corrie star  Catherine Tyldesley

Name: Catherine Tyldesley

Age: 35

Famous for? Starring as Eva Price on Coronation Street from 2011-2018.

About Catherine: Hailing from Walkden, Greater Manchester, the stage and screen star's acting credits include Holby City, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Sorted, Shameless and Trollied. She is best known for playing barmaid Eva Price on Corrie from 2011 until she left the role last summer to pursue different roles and spend more time with her young family. Catherine lives in Manchester with her personal trainer husband Tom Pitford and their son Alfie, four. Alongside acting, Catherine is a talented singer, releasing an album in 2016. 

Catherine says: 'I’m thrilled to be a part of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing. I’m a huge fan of the show. It’ll be my biggest challenge to date as I’m not much of a dancer, but I’ve always wanted to learn the skill and the time feels right! I’m nervous as hell but super excited to work with such talented professionals. Hold onto your jazz shoes... mine is sure to be a bumpy/clumsy/fun ride!'   

Breakfast to ballroom: BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell

Breakfast to ballroom: BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell

Name: Mike Bushell

Age: 53

Famous for? Presenting the sports coverage on BBC Breakfast.

About Mike: The sports presenter has been working for the BBC for nearly 30 years, after first starting out as a trainee reporter on BBC Radio Solent. He moved to BBC Breakfast after working for the 24-hour News channel. He also made headlines after a hilarious gaffe saw him tumble into a swimming pool during a live segment for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Mike also holds the world record for crossing one mile of water in a large inflatable ball in 1 hour 57 seconds. He married second wife Emily in May 2019, and has three daughters from his first marriage.

Mike says: 'I am so excited to be joining this year’s Strictly Come Dancing. I’ve heard so many wonderful things from colleagues over the years so thrilled I’m now getting the chance. I know I will completely throw myself into the whole experience and I’m sure will love it from start to finish. I may have tried and profiled over 500 sports over the years in my Saturday morning BBC Breakfast slot but think the Strictly challenge could be the greatest. Bring on the glitter!'

From CBBC to cha cha cha: CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual

From CBBC to cha cha cha: CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual  

Name: Karim Zeroual 

Age: 25 

Famous for? Presenting CBBC and starring in The Sparticle Mystery.  

About Karim: Karim is best known for his presenting duties on CBBC after joining the children's television brand in 2014, he has also hosted BBC Young Dancer and Wimbledon Live. The talented 25-year-old is also currently filming a CBBC documentary, A Week to Beat the World. Karim rose to fame as a child in the West End, he has previously performed in the likes of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Far Pavillions and The Lion King. The presenter is also known for his acting credits after starring in EastEnders and as Sadiq in The Sparticle Mystery for three series from 2011 to 2015.

Karim says: 'To be offered the chance to take part in Strictly is dumbfounding, I’m pinching myself! I’m so excited to be Strictlified. I want THE LOT. The skimpiest of clothes, the widest of flares, the brightest of colours and the tallest Cuban heel a guy can find! The more flamboyant the better… sequins galore please!' 

From Longleat to the Lindy Hop: Viscountess Weymouth Emma Thynn

From Longleat to the Lindy Hop: Viscountess Weymouth Emma Thynn

Name: Viscountess Weymouth Emma Thynn

Age: 33 

Famous for? Businesswoman, chef, model and philanthropist.

About Emma: Raised in South Kensington where she was head girl at Queen's Gate School. She later attended University College London where she studied History of Art. Following her marriage in 2013 to Ceawlin Thynn, Viscount Weymouth, Emma became the chatelaine of the Longleat Estate in Wiltshire. In 2015 Emma launched 'Emma's Kitchen' at Longleat, a space for her to share her love of food and cooking using the backdrop of the original kitchens within Longleat House. In addition, Emma is a contributing editor for British Vogue.

Emma says: 'I absolutely love watching Strictly every weekend and I can’t believe that I’m getting the chance to be on this series. I know it will be such an amazing experience from start to finish. I can’t wait for the dancing and the fabulous outfits!'

Not dragging her heels: Michelle Visage is a RuPaul's Drag Race judge and former Celebrity Big Brother contestant

Not dragging her heels: Michelle Visage is a RuPaul's Drag Race judge and former Celebrity Big Brother contestant 

Name: Michelle Visage

Age: 50 

Famous for? RuPaul's Drag Race judge and Celebrity Big Brother contestant

About Michelle: Michelle is a member of the band Seduction and appears as a judge on American reality competition RuPaul's Drag Race, which she has featured on since season three. She has also featured on all seasons of the spin-off show RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars. Michelle will appear on RuPaul's Drag Race UK, which is set to air on BBC Three this October. Michelle was also on the fifteenth series of Celebrity Big Brother finishing in fifth place. Most recently, she has appeared as a judge on the first two seasons of Ireland's Got Talent. This year, Michelle made her West End debut as Miss Hedge in Everybody's Talking About Jamie.

Michelle says: 'I’m very excited! I’m over the moon to be on the show! I’ve loved it for years! I can’t wait to be dramatic. I’m a woman who is 50-years-old and people of an age say I cant do it anymore but we can!'   

Going for gold! Table tennis star Will Bayley will be competing in Strictly 2019

Going for gold! Table tennis star Will Bayley will be competing in Strictly 2019 

Name: Will Bayley

Age: 31 

Famous for? Paralympic gold medal-winning table tennis player

About Will: In January 2017 Will was awarded an MBE for services for Table Tennis and is currently training to defend his Paralympic title at the Tokyo 2020 games. He recently won Gold at the Japan Open 2019. Will has suffered from arthrogryposis since birth, a rare condition which affects all four of his limbs. Will is classified as a Class 7 Paralympic athlete and was one of the stars of London 2012 and Rio 2016 games, winning consecutive silver and gold medals.

Will says: 'I’m so proud to be on the show, it’s my family’s favourite show. I have no dance experience at all, but I hope I can do well. I want to inspire people with a disability - that would mean a lot to me. I want to prove to people I can do this.'

11th in line: Made In Chelsea's Jamie Laing has joined the Strictly 2019 line-up

11th in line: Made In Chelsea's Jamie Laing has joined the Strictly 2019 line-up 

Name: Jamie Laing

Age: 30 

Famous for? Long-running star of Made In Chelsea.

About Jamie: Jamie hosts the podcast Private Parts alongside actor-comedian Francis Boulle. Jamie has also appeared on Celebrity Hunted, The Great British Bakeoff and Famous and Fighting Crime. Jamie has appeared in the award-winning television series Made In Chelsea since 2011. As well as his media presence, Jamie is also a successful businessman, having founded the sweets brand Candy Kittens in 2012.

Jamie says: 'I am beyond thrilled to be asked to be on Strictly, the only person potentially more thrilled is my mother. I have finally become the son she hoped for! I think I’ve got a little bit of rhythm but I went to Leeds University and I studied theatre and performance for the first year and I had to do contemporary dance. I spoke to a lot of people who had done it in the past and people said it's the scariest thing they’ve ever done. But you have to challenge yourself. I’ve turned down other reality shows. I just want to make my mum proud.' 

Challenge accepted! Anneka Rice will be back on Saturday night TV this autumn

Challenge accepted! Anneka Rice will be back on Saturday night TV this autumn

Name: Anneka Rice

Age: 60 

Famous for? TV shows Challenge Anneka and Treasure Hunt.

About Anneka: In 1982 Anneka became the jump-suited 'skyrunner' om Channel 4's Treasure Hunt - leading to a BAFTA nomination and being bestowed with the Rear Of The Year award. Her next project, Challenge Anneka, was initially aired on BBC One and lasted from 1989-1995. It returned, on ITV, from 2006-2007. Prior to this, she adapted it in 2001 for US TV.  It was branded Challenge America and hosted by Erin Brockovich. Anneka acted as a producer.

Anneka says: 'I haven’t danced since I was 7 and Miss Beer sent me home from my ballet class because I was hopelessly uncoordinated. My family and friends haven’t seen me dance since, not at a wedding or round a handbag so it’s going to be a challenge for my partner. In fact I’ve asked for two, one on each side. I can’t see myself in a long frilly dress either. But I’m feeling recklessly excited. Strictly has always been my Autumn’s entertainment and now I’m part of it! My children will probably leave the country.' 

DJ to Dance floor: Dev presents the Radio 1 Weekend Breakfast Show

DJ to Dance floor: Dev presents the Radio 1 Weekend Breakfast Show

Name: Dev Griffin

Age: 34 

Famous for? Radio 1 DJ

About Dev: Dev presents the Radio 1 Weekend Breakfast Show having formerly fronted the Early Morning Show between September 2009- March 2014. He began his career as an actor, appearing in the likes of Emmerdale, The Bill and EastEnders. Dev was a contestant on Celebrity MasterChef in 2017.

Dev says: 'I just can’t believe I’m doing Strictly, it just doesn’t feel real yet! It’s going to be so much fun, but just to be clear, I’m not doing this to take part, I’m totally in it to win it! I can’t wait to meet my partner and start practicing.'

Hot-footed: Alex represented Great Britain in football at the 2012 London Olympics

Hot-footed: Alex represented Great Britain in football at the 2012 London Olympics

Name: Alex Scott

Age: 34 

Famous for? Footballer 

About Alex: Alex was a footballer who mostly played as a right-back for Arsenal in the FA WSL. She made 140 appearances for the English national team and also represented Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics. Alex captained Arsenal - the team she signed for at the age of eight - and helped the club to a domestic double of the FA Women’s Cup and the FA Women’s Premier League, and remained a key figure when they won the quadruple in the 2006/07 season. Since her retirement last year, she has started a successful TV career on BBC and Sky Sports, and last August she became the first female Sky pundit on a Sky Sports’ Super Sunday, and made waves as a fresh addition to the BBC World Cup Commentary line up. 

Alex Says: 'I am absolutely buzzing to be signed up to Strictly. It’s the show I’ve always wanted to do and I can’t believe I’m finally going to be part of it. I’m super excited, but also terrified at the same time…! The football pitch is a bit less glam than the ballroom, but I’m ready to try the sequins and dresses! Bring it on!'

Cracking on: Olympic rower James was banned from taking part in Strictly last year

Cracking on: Olympic rower James was banned from taking part in Strictly last year

Name: James Cracknell

Age: 47 

Famous for? Olympic champion oarsman 

About James: Olympic rower James was banned from taking part in Strictly Come Dancing last year by his wife because she was wary of the glamorous professional dancers – and the ‘Strictly Curse’ that has triggered a string of very public break-ups among the celebs. Now, just a month after being granted a divorce, the double Olympic champion oarsman has signed up as a contestant on this year’s series of the hit BBC show. His decision to take part in Britain’s biggest entertainment show comes just months after his split from Beverley Turner, his wife of 17 years who nursed him back to health after a near fatal brain injury. Beverley, 45, had previously refused to let him take part in the show because she ‘didn’t want him having some Russian f***y in his face every week’.

James says: 'I’m really looking forward to being a part of Strictly this year. Having spent so many years mucking around in a rowing boat with big men in tight lycra, it’s time I learned a new skill. I need to apologise to my kids in advance for the embarrassment.'


A year ago: Seann and Rebecca were pictured on Instagram on her birthday on October 3, 2017 - however last year he spent the day with Katya

A year ago: Seann and Rebecca were pictured on Instagram on her birthday on October 3, 2017 - however last year he spent the day with Katya

Rebecca's statement: Rebecca insisted she was 'not a victim' in her October statement and has left Seann and 'took the cat' after he kissed his dance partner in London

Rebecca's statement: Rebecca insisted she was 'not a victim' in her October statement and has left Seann and 'took the cat' after he kissed his dance partner in London

VICTIMS OF THE STRICTLY CURSE

A look back at when The Curse struck... starting all the way back with series 1

Series 1: Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole

Did they/didn't they? Natasha Kaplinsky and her hunky partner Brendan Cole sparked affair rumours

Did they/didn't they? Natasha Kaplinsky and her hunky partner Brendan Cole sparked affair rumours

Strictly hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons during season one. Viewers were transfixed by the apparent close bond between newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky and her hunky partner Brendan Cole. 

Although the pair went on to win the show, their success was blighted by affair rumours. 

BBC presenter Natasha soon split from long-term partner Mike Barnard while Brendan dumped his fiancée and fellow dancer Camilla Dallerup.

Writing in her book Strictly Inspirational, Camilla said their split was like a 'mini death'.

'You go through the arc of grief, anger, bitterness,' she said. 'My best friend and dancing professionally with Brendan had both gone.' 

However, Natasha has always denied any wrongdoing, saying: 'There was chemistry, of course, and I certainly fell in love with dancing, but I did not fall in love with Brendan.'

Series 5: Matt Di Angelo and Flavia Cacace

Of all the Strictly romances there's been over the years, this remains one of the most interesting. 

Clandestine: Before long gossip was raging about how Flavia and Matt, then 19, were secretly in love

Clandestine: Before long gossip was raging about how Flavia and Matt, then 19, were secretly in love

Flavia Cacace was in a long-term relationship with her dance partner Vincent Simone when she was partnered with Matt Di Angelo in 2007. He was eight years her junior.

Before long gossip was raging about how Flavia and Matt, then 19, were secretly in love. Shortly after the show finished she called time on her romance with Vincent and went public with Matt.

Looking back at their partnership, Matt told Daily Mail: ‘It was a pretty crazy time. It was front page news.

'The funny thing was the story did not start off as true, but the more you read it, the more you started to believe it and actually act on it.' 

Their romance ended in 2010, and a few weeks later Flavia admitted she was dating her latest dance partner, actor Jimi Mistry, who she went on to marry.

Series 7: Joe Calzaghe and Kristina Rihanoff

Not to be: Kristina is said to have also wanted children while Joe already has two sons from a previous relationship

Not to be: Kristina is said to have also wanted children while Joe already has two sons from a previous relationship

Over: Unfortunately for Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev their relationship didn't manage to go the distance

Over: Unfortunately for Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev their relationship didn't manage to go the distance

Scandal: Kristina Rihanoff was recently forced to defend her romance with Strictly partner Ben Cohen

Scandal: Kristina Rihanoff was recently forced to defend her romance with Strictly partner Ben Cohen

Former boxer Joe Calzaghe split with his girlfriend of five years Jo-Emma Larvin just a week into the show in 2009. 

The sportsman began a relationship with Russian dancer Kristina Rihanoff soon afterwards.

The pair enjoyed a four-year romance but parted ways after Joe reportedly asked Kristina not to accept a role dancing in a stage production.

Speaking to Hello! Kristina said: 'He was sick and tired of waiting around for me, and said that if I truly loved him, I wouldn’t have taken the job in the West End.'

Kristina is said to have also wanted children while Joe already has two sons from a previous relationship. 

Series 8: Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev 

Unfortunately for Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev their relationship didn't manage to go the distance.

After winning the show in 2010 the pair hooked up, love quickly blossomed and they moved into a London home together.

However, it’s believed Russian Artem’s visa issues saw him having to spend time apart from Kara for months on end and they eventually decided to call it a day.

Actress Kara welcomed her baby son, Frey with fiancé Marius Jensen in 2018, while Artem has struck up a romance with retired WWE wrestler, Nikki Bella since moving to the US to compete on Dancing With the Stars in 2014.

Series 11: Ben Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff

Kristina Rihanoff was recently forced to defend her romance with Strictly partner Ben Cohen insisting that their relationship only began once his 11 year marriage to wife Abby had come to an end. 

'He left his wife a year ago,' she told Daily Mirror. 'Recently we started dating but we're allowed to see each other as two single people.' 

Kristina – who has also dated Vincent Simone and ex partner Joe Calzaghe – said there have been other couples, yet she is the only one to be 'attacked'.  

She said: 'Ben's said it many times and I'll say it again - I wasn't involved in the breaking up of his marriage.'

Meanwhile Abby described the split and resultant divorce as 'the most traumatic thing to ever happen to me'. 

Ben, 37, met Abby in 1995 at the age of 17, and the couple married in 2003 before welcoming their daughters in 2008.

Series 11: Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev 

'It doesn't exist!' Rachel Riley brushed aside the fact that The Curse exists, after she left her husband and got together with pro Pasha Kovalev

On the same series, Countdown's math whiz Rachel Riley's relationship with her pro partner Pasha Kovalev ultimately ended her marriage to her husband of just one year.

She wed Jamie Gilbert in 2012, taking part on 2013's season of the dancing show. By the end of 2013, they had split and she was with Pasha - which she claims began after the show came to an end.

'On Strictly, you form a close bond with your partner, but there was nothing romantic when Pasha and I were dancing. It was just dancing,' she told the Mail the following January, insisting there's no such thing as The Curse.

'[Strictly] serves as a magnifying glass that shows up pre-existing fault lines,' she said, explaining the situation. She is still with Pasha today.

Series 11: Susanna Reid 

Epiphany: Shortly after the show ended, the TV host split from her long-term partner Dominic Cotton

Epiphany: Shortly after the show ended, the TV host split from her long-term partner Dominic Cotton

Divorcee: Actress Sunetra Sarker also announced her marriage split after starring on Strictly

Divorcee: Actress Sunetra Sarker also announced her marriage split after starring on Strictly

Susanna Reid was another victim of series 11. She was billed as the most popular breakfast TV host and in a 15-year ­relationship when she reached the Strictly Come Dancing final that year.

However shortly after the show ended, the TV host split from her long-term partner Dominic Cotton.

However, mother-of-three Susanna, who was paired with professional Kevin Clifton, said the programme was not to blame for her love problems. 

Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna told Daily Mirror: 'I think people think Strictly was bound up in what happened. It wasn’t. Obviously things have been challenging in my personal life but we are getting things sorted.'

Series 12: Sunetra Sarker 

Actress Sunetra Sarker also announced her marriage split after starring on Strictly.

She parted ways with her husband Nick Corfield after ten years of marriage just before the programme hit the screens.

The couple first met in 1989 while on holiday in Jersey and have a 13-year-old son together. 

However, she said the romance had ended long before her reality show stint: 'The truth is three years ago me and my husband amicably split up and it obviously had nothing to do with Strictly.'

The Casualty actress, who plays Dr Zoe Hanna in the BBC medical drama, is now said to be dating business partner Scott Carey. Together, the pair set up the food firm Keep Me Fresh. 

Series 12: Caroline Flack  

Caroline Flack broke up with her boyfriend of a year and a half, Jack Street, after making her way into the Strictly Come Dancing semi-final.

The price of success: Caroline Flack broke up with her boyfriend of a year and a half, Jack Street, after making her way into the Strictly Come Dancing semi-final

The price of success: Caroline Flack broke up with her boyfriend of a year and a half, Jack Street, after making her way into the Strictly Come Dancing semi-final

According to The Sun, she was 'distraught' backstage at the BBC show, but managed to put on a brave face to wow with her Tango and top the leader board.

A source close to her told the newspaper: 'It came to a natural end and was mutual.' 

Some contestants have ended relationships to engage in a romance with their dance partner on the show, but the source noted that in Caroline's case, this wasn't the reason.

'No one else is involved,' they stated.

Caroline had been seeing music manager Jack for around 18 months and she previously said that he was fine with her working on the talent show despite its reputation.

'Jack's been completely fine about the whole curse thing,' she said, quoted in The Mirror. 'He hasn't once been worried'.

Series 13: Helen George  

Over and out: Actress Helen George announced her split from husband of three years, fellow actor Oliver Boot, after she was revealed as a contestant on the show

Over and out: Actress Helen George announced her split from husband of three years, fellow actor Oliver Boot, after she was revealed as a contestant on the show

It did not take long before the dreaded curse of Strictly struck again.

Actress Helen George announced her split from husband of three years, fellow actor Oliver Boot, after she was revealed as a contestant on the show.

'I can confirm that Helen separated from her husband some time ago,' a spokesperson for the star said. She has not been linked to any fellow Strictly contestants or professional dancers.

A Royal Academy Of Music graduate, Helen is best known for starring as Nurse Beatrix 'Trixie' Franklin in the hit BBC period drama Call The Midwife.

George has also performed as a back-up singer for Sir Elton John and starred in a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Zippel called The Woman In White.

She met her former partner on set of BBC drama Hotel Babylon, and the couple married in December 2012.

Break-up: Shortly after she finished runner-up in the final, she and Sean announced their split

Break-up: Shortly after she finished runner-up in the final, she and Sean announced their split

Series 13: Georgia May Foote 

The actress was in a relationship with her Coronation Street co-star Sean Ward when she took part in the 2015 series of the show.

But cracks began to show as it was reported that Sean was enraged with jealousy over her decision to take part, and even allegedly accompanied her to rehearsals at the beginning of her Strictly journey.

Shortly after she finished runner-up in the final, she and Sean announced their split - with Georgia seen kissing her dance partner Giovanni Pernice during a romantic trip to Disneyland soon after.  

However, shortly before rehearsals for the 2016 series began, Georgia and Giovanni called time on their romance after just a year. 

Giovanni has since moved on with 2018 contestant and former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts, while Georgia is dating rapper Kris Evans.

 

Series 14: Louise and Jamie Redknapp

Divorced: Louise Redknapp appeared on the series in 2016, after which she and Jamie were said to be facing marital issues

Divorced: Louise Redknapp appeared on the series in 2016, after which she and Jamie were said to be facing marital issues

Footballer Jamie Redknapp is said to have been offered a place on the Strictly line-up recently, but understandably has refused after the series was blamed for the demise of his marriage to wife Louise.

Louise appeared on the series in 2016, after which she and Jamie were said to be facing marital issues. By the end of 2017, they were divorced.

It was highly-speculated that Louise realised, during the show, that she wanted to get back to work having sacrificed her career for her marriage - with co-star Daisy Lowe said to have helped her 'rediscover her youth'.

A TV source said: 'Strictly used to be show that no celebrity ever turned down. But the Curse has changed all that. There is now a genuine concern that appearing on the show can negatively impact relationships. Jamie only has negative feelings about Strictly now. There’s absolutely no way he would appear.'

Louise was also rumoured to have struck up a romantic bond with her pro partner Kevin Clifton, but this has never been confirmed. 

Series 14: Kevin and Karen Clifton

Split: The Cliftons - a married pair of pro dancers - split romantically in 2018

Split: The Cliftons - a married pair of pro dancers - split romantically in 2018

Despite the rumours surrounding thrice-married Kevin while he partnered with Louise, nothing seemed to transpire between the two. He was, of course, married at the time too - to fellow pro Karen Clifton.

However, since then, the pair have split up.

Kevin proposed to her, on her birthday, on stage during a performance of Burn the Floor and they wed in July 2015. But in March 2018, they confirmed that they were no longer together romantically.

They have since continued to work together as a pro dance partnership, however, insisting there is no bad blood.

 

Series 16: Stacey Dooley, Sam Tucknott and Kevin Clifton

We're done: Stacey's boyfriend of five years Sam Tucknott, 30, revealed Stacey had left him in an interview with the Mail On Sunday

We're done: Stacey's boyfriend of five years Sam Tucknott, 30, revealed Stacey had left him in an interview with the Mail On Sunday

Stacey's boyfriend of five years Sam Tucknott, 30, revealed Stacey had left him in an interview with the Mail On Sunday in April. He called her dance partner, three-times married Kevin Clifton, 36, a slippery snake

Sam confronted Kevin in furious video chat where he branded him a 'proper rat'. He told MoS in an exclusive interview he feels betrayed by the new couple's romance. 

It has been alleged that Stacey and Kevin's relationship was an 'open secret' on the Strictly tour News has cast shadow over latest series of show, resurrecting the so-called 'Strictly curse' that has seen 14 couples split.

The TV presenter, 32, broke her silence on Twitter soon after, insisting there 'are two sides to every story' 

 

All over: In August 2019, just ahead of series 17, Neil and Katya announced their split after 11 years of marriage

All over: In August 2019, just ahead of series 17, Neil and Katya announced their split after 11 years of marriage 

Series 16/17:  Katya and Neil Jones 

2018 saw The Curse strike early on in the season, with drama escalating just three weeks into the live shows.

In a new twist, a love square formed when Katya Jones, who is married to fellow show professional Neil, was snapped all over her celeb partner, comedian Seann Walsh, on the street outside a pub in London. This took part on Sean's girlfriend's - actress and writer Rebecca Humphries - birthday, no less.

Dumped: Neil and Katya's break-up comes 10 months after her kiss with Seann (pictured with ex-girlfriend Rebecca Humphries)

Dumped: Neil and Katya's break-up comes 10 months after her kiss with Seann (pictured with ex-girlfriend Rebecca Humphries)

The pair brushed it off as a 'one-off mistake', despite them kissing and laughing brazenly in public. Since then, Rebecca 'dumped' Seann via a Twitter statement.

Seann and Katya did not pull out of the show, with their dalliance a gigantic elephant in the room as they still performed on the series, with Neil on set too.

However, In August 2019, just ahead of series 17, Neil and Katya announced their split after 11 years of marriage. The break-up coming just 10 months after her kiss with Seann.  

Strictly's Neil Jones is pictured for the first time since announcing split from wife Katya

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