Strictly Come Dancing pro Neil Jones has been pictured without his wedding ring after stepping out for the first time since announcing his separation from wife Katya Jones on Sunday. Neil was spotted walking to Strictly rehearsals in London with his co-stars Kevin Clifton, Karen Clifton and Amy Dowden. The dancer looked in good spirits as he chatted to his friends during their break. Tucking into his lunch, Neil sported black jeans and a white T-shirt, which he teamed with trainers and a leather jacket. It has been reported that Neil will be given a celebrity dance partner for the first time in the upcoming series, but the BBC One dance show has yet to confirm this.
Strictly star Neil Jones was pictured without his wedding ring a day after announcing his split with Katya
On Sunday, Neil and Katya 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."
The pro dancer was supported by his Strictly co-stars
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."
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.