TV & Movies

Strictly stars wild love lives from curse, romance rumours and savage splits

If you’re a fan of BBC hit show Strictly Come Dancing then you’ve likely heard of the famous Strictly curse.

With tales of lust and love ranging from passionate affairs to total marriage breakdowns, Strictly heartbreaks seem to provide more headlines than the dance routines themselves.

Over the years, it's been claimed the BBC One show has been the cause of several relationship break-ups or scandals, from Katya Jones and Sean Walsh's kissing scandal to relationship rumours circulating all around the stars, it definitely sparks speculation year on year.

Daily Star takes a look at the pros whose own relationships have been destroyed during the show's long history…

Katya Jones and Seann Walsh

Seann Walsh's stint on Strictly Come Dancing left his career in tatters when he was caught on camera kissing his married professional partner Katya Jones, while he himself was in a long-term relationship.

Dance pro Katya was married to fellow pro Neil Jones and Seann was in a long-term relationship with actress Rebecca Humphries, who he lived with at the time.

It was later claimed that they'd actually been seen kissing in a pub on multiple occasions before they were finally caught on camera.

Just a few days after the pictures emerged, Rebecca dumped Seann in spectacular fashion with a damning public statement., revealing that she had long suspected something was going on between the pair and claimed he branded her "nuts" when she raised her concerns with him.

Seann and Katya publicly apologised for the kiss on Strictly spin-off show It Takes Two, but they were slammed for the "robotic" statement by fans.

Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole

Cast your mind back to the very first series of the show and you may remember veteran dancer Brendan Cole’s scandalous relationship with his dance partner Natasha Kaplinsky.

The chemistry between the pair was clear to see and caused a slew of headlines given Brandon was engaged to fellow Strictly Pro Camilla Dallerup.

Brendan, who was recently axed from the show after 13 years, had been with his fiancée for eight years as rumours began to swirl that Brendan, 41, had a fling with the newsreader.

The pair denied the affair but Camilla split from Brendan, saying the break-up "was like a mini-death".

The dancer, who is now married to model Zoe Hobbs, said: "I didn’t cross any lines with Natasha. I was single. Camilla had ended the relationship very early on in the series so what happened happened after that.

"It was a harrowing time – winning the show as much as my friendship with Natasha. On the other hand it was like, Holy Moses. It can ruin a marriage so easily."

Ranvir Singh and Giovanni Pernice

Professional dancer Giovanni Pernice and his celebrity partner Ranvir Singh were surrounded by whispers they were more than just friends when they appeared together on the show in 2020.

Rumours swirled that the pair, who reached the Strictly semi-final, had taken their friendship further after their intimate performances on the show sparked rumours of a romance. They had also been seen after rehearsals looking extremely close.

The pair denied the rumours claiming that their apparent chemistry meant their performances were better.

Speaking to Yahoo Entertainment UK, Giovanni said at the time: "People are always going to talk about the Strictly curse but it's all about the performance and remember dancing is acting as well.

"So if people think that you're having a romance with your partner doing an Argentine Tango, it means our job is done, it's absolutely great."

Ranvir, 44, recently confirmed a romance with 26-year-old Strictly Come Dancing producer Louis Church, telling The Sun: “I’m really happy”.

Karen and Kevin Clifton

Professional dancer Kevin faced a tragic divorce after rumours of an affair with singer and celebrity dance partner Louise Redknapp.

Kevin and Louise’s close relationship was said to have caused trouble in both of their marriages at the time, with Karen reportedly penning a note to Louise’s husband Jamie blasting: “Keep your wife away from my husband. She’s ruining our marriage.”

Shortly after Louise’s stint on the show, she split from Jamie after 18 years of marriage with the pair filing for divorce in December 2017.

Kevin has also since split from his wife Karen. News of a rift between Louise and Kevin happened shortly after the show aired with reports claiming that three times-married Kevin had “totally ghosted her”.

Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev

  • Strictly's Giovanni confesses he would be 'jealous' if Rose danced with anyone else

Former EastEnders star Kara began dating hunky dance pro Artem after the pair were partnered together back in 2010.

The couple appeared to fall madly in love and soon moved in together into a swanky two bedroom flat in north London.

While they were still together, Kara told Hello! magazine: "I'm just enjoying having that nice settled feeling. Don't get me wrong, I would love to. But my parents never married and are still together. I would rather have a nice life together than worry about a silly date."

The pair have since split after finding it increasingly difficult to spend time together after Artem's visa meant he was unable to stay in the UK permanently.

"We are not together. We're fine, but we aren't a couple anymore,” she told The Telegraph in 2014.

Ben Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff

Often dubbed the poster stars of the so-called Strictly Curse, the controversial affair between the two began after they were partnered together on the 2013 series while he was married to Abby Blayney.

Despite having twin daughters with wife Abby, the chemistry between the two was palpable and ultimately led to Ben’s tragic divorce after 23 years together.

Abby didn't hold back in sharing her thoughts and went on a foul-mouthed rant to The Sun at the time.

She said: "My husband, who I was with for 23 years, unconditionally loved and was completely loyal to in every respect, has left me for a [explicit] Russian dancer.

"The last two years have been the most traumatic thing to ever happen to me. He's done the dirty on me. I want people to know." Ben and Kristina are still together and Abby has since found love with her partner David Warner

Nikita Kuzmin and Tilly Ramsay

There was no denying that Tilly Ramsay and dance pro Nikita Kuzmin were one of this year's standout couples.

Amid the pairs obvious chemistry, Kuzmin fuelled romance rumours after he was seen he blowing Tilly a kiss after an "emotional" training session.

In addition to training and dancing together, the pair's social lives appeared to also also merged with Tilly introducing her partner to her famous family, friends and being spotted heading into her flat together.

The pair were also accused on flirting on spin-off It Takes Two by Rylan Clark. Turning to Tilly, Nikita, who is in a long-term relationship with girlfriend Nicole Wirt, praised her and said: "You were just incredible."

Tilly returned the compliment adding: "I have an amazing teacher."

Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley

Documentary maker Stacey Dooley competed on Strictly Come Dancing in 2018 with Kevin Clifton making it all the way to the final to lift the Glitterball Trophy together.

Stacey, who was in a relationship with her ex-boyfriend of five years Sam Tucknott when she applied for the show, went on to begin dating Kevin in 2019.

Scorned Sam accused Kevin of being a “rat” and a “snake” in a FaceTime video call after discovering the romance telling The Sun: "He went white. I just stuck it on him, ‘You’re an absolute rat, how you conducted yourself. Just a slippery, slimy snake’.

"He didn’t say a word, he looked petrified, so shocked."

The pair have been together for over two years and they currently live together in Stacey’s gorgeous home in London.

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