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Strictly Come Dancing: Everyone who has been hit by the Strictly Curse

The curse is real!

strictly curse gallery
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
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When celebrities contestants sign up to Strictly Come Dancing, they usually form a close bond with their professional dance partners thanks to the long hours of training, never ending rehearsals and weekly live shows. While some become lifelong friends, other celebrities and their partners get so up close and personal behind the scenes of Strictly that it even results in a relationship. Thanks to the demanding hours, some celebs haven’t necessarily found romance on the show, but have still split from their partners. Since this has happened several times throughout the years of Strictly, this has now been dubbed the ‘Strictly Curse’. Find out everyone who has been involved in it over the years…

READ: Lisa Armstrong shows support to Seann Walsh's ex-girlfriend Rebecca Humphries

Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole - 2004

Natasha and Brendan began the ‘Strictly curse’ in 2004 after the professional dancer split from his fiancee, Camilla Dallerup, while starring on the show. Although the dancer has denied that he had a relationship with Natasha, he told the Daily Mail: "I've never talked about what relationship Natasha and I had on the show. What I did learn is that Strictly is not reality. It's a television show where emotions are very much heightened. "It’s a unique situation and a fantastic show to be part of, but when you take it away, life just goes back to normal."

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Stacey Dooley

Just a few months after completing Strictly, Stacey has reportedly split from her boyfriend of three years, Sam Tucknott. According to The Sun, Stacey's increasingly busy schedule has put pressure on the relationship, particularly since the couple weren't able to spend time together while Stacey was on the Strictly Live! tour. 

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Matt Di Angelo and Flavia Cacace - 2007

In 2007, former EastEnders actor embarked on a relationship with Italian dancer Flavia, who broke off her 13-year relationship with fellow Strictly pro Vincent Simone. Flavia's ballroom chemistry with Matt was hard to miss, they came out on top more than any other couple during that series. They went on to date for three years before their romance ended in 2010, and a few weeks later Flavia revealed she was dating her latest celebrity dance partner, actor Jimi Mistry – whom she is now married to. Vincent, who met Flavia when they were teenagers, were professional dance partners for 13 years and have lived together for 11 years. After their split, Vincent told People: "Matt has stolen the only woman I've ever loved. I feel empty and am beside myself. I've never felt like this before and all I want is to have her back." He added: "She's the love of my life and I thought we'd be together forever and get married but now I don't know what's going on. I didn't even want to go to the end-of-show wrap party but I forced myself. When she and Matt went off to cosy up on a sofa in the corner together, that was it."

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Joe Calzaghe and Kristina Rihanoff - 2009

Joe split from his girlfriend of five years, Jo-Emma Larvin, after the first week of rehearsals with his dance partner, Kristina Rihanoff. Speaking about their split, Jo-Emma told the Daily Star: “I never imagined that anything like this would happen. We broke up during his first week of training with Kristina… I couldn’t believe what was happening. As far as I was concerned, Joe was The One and my whole world had been turned upside down. At this point I had no idea he was seeing Kristina. It was only when they were pictured together and he phoned me that I found out.” Kristina and Joe dated until 2013.

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Ben Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff - 2013

Ben Cohen took part in Strictly back in 2013, where he was partnered with Kristina Rihanoff. A few months after completing the show, Ben announced his split from his wife of 11 years, Abby Cohen. Ben and Kristina confirmed their relationship a year later, with Kristina telling the Mirror: "He left his wife a year ago. Recently we started dating but we're allowed to see each other as two single people. I don't know why I am always attacked. I am a hard-working, self-made person.” Speaking about the situation to the Sun on Sunday, Abby said: "I don’t want to cause stress or further damage by stirring things up. But I'm just trying to recover from what has been the most horrific time of my life."

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Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev - 2013

Rachel, 32, met Pasha, 38, in 2013 when they were partnered together on Strictly. At the time she was in her first year of marriage to high school sweetheart Jamie Gilbert; the couple announced their split in November 2013, following her appearance on the dancing show. The TV star went on to confess that she remained "good friends" with her ex James. Five years on, the Countdown star is happily dating Pasha - with the pair often going to various events together. Earlier this year, Rachel revealed that the couple have no immediate plans to start having a family together. Speaking to Mail On Sunday's Event magazine, the mathematician confessed that having kids is "not on her radar" at the moment. She admitted: "All my friends are getting pregnant at the moment. That's good for them, but it's currently not on my radar. I don't know about the future."

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Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice - 2015

Georgia was in a relationship with her Coronation Street co-star Sean Ward before starting a new relationship with her Strictly dance partner, Giovanni Pernice. Speaking about their relationship, she previously told the Daily Mail: "Gio is everything to me. I'm 100 per cent happy with Gio. He's smitten and I'm the same. We trust each other. We fell in love as friends before anything happened." Their relationship ended in 2016, and Georgia posted a statement which read: "It is with great sadness we have decided to split up. There is nobody else involved. Although it was not an easy decision to make, sometimes you realise that it is better to be friends and this is one of these times." 

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Louise and Jamie Redknapp - 2017

Despite joking about the Strictly curse before the beginning of the series, Louise split from her husband of 19 years just a few months after reaching the final of the show. Speaking about their split on This Morning¸ she said: "It's been so heavily documented and of course, we all go through hard times. My priority, and his priority, are our children. Protecting them and keeping as much private as possible and loving them and putting them first and that's really what we are focusing on. For me, going back to work has been something that has been a real saviour. Doing Strictly does something. For me it was all about performing. And to go back on stage every night and to get the opportunity again. It's great. I'd been at home for 12 years doing the mum thing."

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Kevin and Karen Clifton - 2018

Kevin and Karen, both professional dancers on the show, announced their split back in March 2018. In an exclusive interview with HELLO!, Kevin said: "It was important to be honest about everything. I think there is a lot of pressure on people to be perfect all the time, and so there is this fairytale image of everything, but at the end of the day we are just like other people. We are just two people who love what we do and we never want to pretend to our fans or to anybody." The pair are still good friends, and went on a two-person tour together.

curse seann walsh katya© Photo: BBC

Seann Walsh and Katya Jones - 2018

In perhaps the most public moment of the ‘Strictly Curse’ yet, Katya and Seann were filmed kissing each other following a few drinks at a bar. Although the pair apologised publicly for their actions, Seann’s ex-girlfriend Rebecca Humphries posted a statement revealing that he had berated her for being suspicious of his relationship with Katya. The statement read: “He aggressively, and repeatedly, called me a psycho/nuts/mental. As he has done countless times throughout our relationship when I've questioned his inappropriate, hurtful behaviour.” It has been confirmed the pair will continue to star on the show.

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