Strictly Come Dancing's Neil Jones has revealed that he may once again be without a celebrity partner on 2018's series of the show, despite fans' calls for him to finally be allowed to dance in the main competition. The ballroom and latin star - who is husband to last year's winner Katya Jones - has become a favourite of the show's loyal viewers for his fun on-camera humour and incredible talent, but has only ever appeared in professional group dances on the main show. Speaking to RadioTimes.com about whether 2018 would finally be his year, he said: "I still don’t know! Between a few of us we’re still not sure."
Neil dancing on Strictly with wife Katya
It seems it all depends on which celebrities are cast for the next series - as they are matched to professionals based on things like height, according to Neil. "Of course Brendan left, and we didn’t want him to go, but he’s six foot something. I’m a lot smaller than him, so it now all depends on the celebrities. Because Brendan danced with Charlotte [Hawkins] last year and there’s no way I would’ve been able to dance with her because she’s taller than me."
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What's more, the newly-added professionals are "quite tall," in Neil's own words - so he may have some competition! "I’ve been around the show for so long now, if I have a partner – fantastic. If not, it doesn’t matter. You know what, I’m still part of the show so that’s good," he added.
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Loyal wife Katya also chimed into the interview, saying that Neil is always optimistic about the decisions regarding the show. "Neil’s always positive! He says if it happens again that he doesn’t have a partner, he’s told me it’ll give him more time to focus on bringing a new show and choreographing – so whilst I’m every day in the training room, you’ll be preparing our tour." Neil quipped back: "She’s just worried if I get a partner that I’ll beat her!"
We've got our fingers crossed that we'll see Neil on the dance floor with a celebrity this year - after wowing viewers while performing with Judy Murray in 2017's Christmas special, it's certainly what the fans want. The dancer's loyal followers often comment on his Instagram posts to ask if he'll be luckier this year. On his announcement that he'll be returning to the show, one wrote: "Let's hope you get a celeb this year @mr_njonesofficial! They are not showcasing your full talent!!"