Strictly Come Dancing partners Neil and Katya Jones announced on Sunday afternoon that they are separating after six years of marriage and 11 years together. The statement was shared to both of their Instagram accounts and fans were quick to express their shock and sympathy. Their Strictly colleagues also commented with good wishes.
The former couple joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2016
Dianne Buswell, Nancy Xu, Oti Mabuse, Joanne Clifton and Amy Dowden all responded by posting a love heart emoji, as did Johannes Radebe and Giovanni Pernice. Former Strictly dancer Robin Windsor added two hearts, while new judge and Oti's sister Motsi Mabuse added a praying hands emoji. Janette Manrara, who most recently competed with Dr Ranj, wrote: "I love you both tremendously! You are both incredible people, talented dancers, & wonderful friends!"
Dianne's boyfriend and former contestant Joe Sugg also commented with a heart and other celebrities who have appeared on the show chimed in, too. Daisy Lowe posted four hearts, Susanah Constantine wrote: "Love you both," and Mollie King said: "Sending you both lots of love xx." Former judge Arlene Phillips commented on Neil's post: "Life changes in the most unexpected ways and as a dancer we know it ebbs and flows like a dance moving forward and back."
Neil and Katya released a joint statement on Instagram
The announcement comes just a few weeks before the start of the new season of Strictly, in which celebrities including TV presenter Anneka Rice, rower James Cracknell OBE and EastEnders star Emma Barton are set to appear. But Neil and Katya were quick to reassure fans that the change to their personal life won't affect their dance partnership.
Their statement read: "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." It went on to say: "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."
Neil and Katya's relationship hit the headlines last year after Katya was snapped kissing her Strictly dance partner Seann Walsh, but they stayed together afterward and even celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary earlier this month.
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