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Strictly star Ben Cohen and wife Abigail announce separation after 11 years of marriage

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Former rugby player and Strictly Come Dancing star Ben Cohen and his wife Abby have separated after 11 years of marriage.The couple announced on Wednesday that they are taking time apart "to deal with some marital issues".In a joint statement, their representative said: 'Ben and Abby Cohen have agreed to take time apart to deal with some marital issues but remain fully committed to the welfare of their children.

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"There is no third party involved, and Ben and Abby now ask that their privacy and that of their family be respected at this difficult time. "The pair, who wed in 2003 after eight years together, have two daughters together.Ben, who participated in Strictly last year with dancing partner Kristina Rihanoff, follows a series of other celebrities who split from long-term partners after appearing on the show.

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Ben's fellow 2013 contestant Susanna Reid's long-term relationship with the father of her children ended following her appearance on the show.In November last year, Countdown presenter Rachel Riley revealed her marriage had ended and earlier this month went public with her Strictly professional partner Pasha Kovalev.From this year's series – set to start in October – Simon Webbe and Sunetra Sarker have also announced their love splits.

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Ben, 36, has attended several events in London over the past week, including the Julien Macdonald London Fashion Week show last Friday and the Dot Com Children's Fund Charity Gala on Tuesday.There he joined Thom Evans, who attended with his stunning dance partner Iveta Lukosiute.The handsome rugby player and the Lithuanian beauty made quite the couple away from the Strictly dancefloor.Thom, 29, recently confessed to finding his dance partner attractive. He told The Mirror: "I'm single and very happy to be partnered with Iveta. "I live in Surrey, maybe she will move in with me. I don't think she gets my humour but I’m working on her. She's stunning."

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