Strictly Come Dancing couple Neil and Katya Jones have shocked fans after revealing that they have made the decision to separate after 11 years together. In a joint statement posted on both of their Instagram accounts on Sunday afternoon, they said: "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. 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."
Strictly couple Katya and Neil Jones have announced their separation
It continued: "Our shared love of dance means we will keep working and dancing together as well as exploring individual projects. No matter what we do we will always support and respect each other." Many of Neil and Katya's Strictly co-stars were quick to show their support for them, with Dianne Buswell, Nancy Xu and Joanne Clifton all simply responding to the post with a love heart emoji. Fans were also quick to comment, with one writing: "This is a very sad time, but we will send love and support both of you whatever you do," while another added: "Very sorry to hear but lots of love and best wishes to you both."
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Neil and Katya Jones have been married for six years
Neil and Katya had celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary at the beginning of August and paid tributes to each other on social media. The pair's relationship became front-page news last year after Katya was pictured kissing her Strictly dance partner Seann Walsh during a drunken night out. Neil stood by Katya following the incident and insisted that they were fine, although Seann split up from his girlfriend Rebecca Humphries. The pair spoke to HELLO! for an exclusive interview shortly after the incident, where Neil admitted that he was able to accept that people make mistakes. "I think, for me, I can accept people make mistakes. I came from a divorced family and my mum was always strong and said: 'People make mistakes in their lives. Don't react, try to understand.' So that is how it always is for me," he said. Neil added: "All the way through people were saying: 'Neil isn’t saying anything,' but I didn’t need to. People don’t know Katya like I do."
Katya told HELLO!: "I look at everything as a massive learning process. We had never had to deal with paparazzi outside the house and people getting into our private world before. I thought: 'I am strong enough, I am a strong Russian woman, nothing is going to affect me.' But actually drop by drop, people typing horrible and unkind things about you, does affect you. The hate I felt made me very sad. Neil told me: 'Stop reading, stop looking.' I knew I had to focus on what I do best, my dancing, my choreography, my job to the best of my ability."
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Most recently, Neil and Katya re-enacted their wedding day in their dance show, Somnium: A Dancer's Dream, which covered their extraordinary journey to become World Latin Showcase Champions.
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