neil jones katya jones

Strictly's Neil Jones breaks silence following shock split

Neil and Katya Jones announced their decision to separate after 11 years

Gemma Strong

Neil Jones has taken to Instagram following his shock split from wife Katya Jones. The Strictly Come Dancing stars announced their decision to separate after 11 years together in a joint statement shared on Sunday afternoon. And on Monday morning Neil returned to social media, sharing an upbeat post with his fans as he prepared for a week of Strictly rehearsals. "Love a Monday and I'm just chilling with my elephant looking cool before rehearsals," he wrote. "What are your goals for this week?" Arlene Phillips was among those to comment on the photo, writing: "It's the only way to spend a Monday morning. Looking cool!!!"

Neil and Katya Jones announced the end of their marriage in a joint statement

Neil and Katya – who will both appear in the upcoming series of Strictly – announced the decision to end their marriage in a joint message that 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. 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." The post concluded: "We wish one another every happiness and we will remain the best of friends. We are really looking forward to getting back to the ballroom and can't wait to keep on dancing. Lots of love from us both xx."

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The former couple will both appear in Strictly Come Dancing 2019

The split comes shortly after the couple celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary at the beginning of August. Their relationship became front-page news last year when 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! in an exclusive interview shortly after the incident, where Neil admitted that he was able to accept that 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. "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." A spokesperson for the pair said their decision to split was not influenced by the controversy surrounding Kayta and Seann, saying: "It would be incorrect and unfair to attribute their separation to one isolated incident."

Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC for its 17th series in September. Among the celebrities taking part in this year's show are Anneka Rice, Catherine Tyldesley, James Cracknell and Jamie Laing.

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