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Neil Jones makes exciting Strictly Come Dancing announcement

The first show kicks off at The Lowry Theatre in Salford on 3 May

Andrea Caamano

Neil Jones couldn't be more excited for the next chapter in his life, judging by his latest Instagram story. The Strictly professional dancer announced to fans on Tuesday that he and fellow dancers of the hit show are officially rehearsing for The Professionals UK Tour, which kicks off at the beginning of May.

Taking to social media, the star, who will return to this year's show alongside wife Katya Jones, shared a picture of the tour's script and wrote alongside it: "and so it begins." Katya Jones also took to Instagram, sharing a clip from rehearsals which showed the other contestants taking part, such as Oti Mabuse, Karen Clifton, Dianne Buswell, Gorka Marquez and Giovanni Pernice.

Neil is due to start in The Professionals UK Tour

Also taking part in the tour is Pasha Kovalev, who announced earlier in the year that he is leaving the hit BBC dance show after 8 years. The Russian star will bow out of Strictly after The Professionals tour, which ends on 2 June at Sunderland Empire. It has yet not been revealed who will take his place, but fans are rooting for Neil to finally have a celebrity partner. Speaking exclusively to HELLO! last month, Katya said: "I think he would love it, I feel Neil could partner any character, any age, any ability, he would come up with something so creative."

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But the Russian beauty is worried for one particular reason: "I'm getting a little bit worried because I managed to get hold of the Glitterball in 2017, but I think the anticipation of Neil having a partner has been growing so strong, that everyone's going to vote for him instantly!" She teased: "It's going to be a battle."

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Neil added: "I am getting the question a lot. It would be really nice to get a partner. It would be great, but we don't know until a lot later. They have to book all the celebs. Either way, I've always said, I love working with the show. I started off as a choreographer and assistant choreographer. I'm now a pro. If I get a partner, I get a partner. If not, I just love working with everyone."

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