With dance rehearsals now in full swing ahead of Strictly Come Dancing's 16th series, we decided to take a look back at past love matches from the hit show. We've all heard about the famous 'Strictly curse' where contestants – and a few professional dancers – start off the series in relationships only to have their heads turned by their gorgeous dance partners. It happened to pro dancer Brendan Cole with Natasha Kaplinsky back in series one and Flavia Cacace and Matt Di Angelo in series four. More recently Louise Redknapp called time on her marriage to Jamie Redknapp following Strictly, although no one else was involved.
But it's not all doom and gloom for the show's stars. This may surprise you but a few Strictly couples who met on the programme have actually weathered the sequin covered storm and are still together today. So who are these rare creatures? Read on to find out…
Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopilova
Remember Darren and Lilia? Dedicated Strictly fans will remember the professional dancers from back in 2004's series two when they joined the show. The couple performed on Strictly for six years before leaving the show at the same time. They are something of a rarity when it comes to SCD as they married before joining the show in 1999, stayed together during the show and are still together now with a baby girl Valentina Rose. What curse?
Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez
Ok, it's still early days but Gemma and Gorka are still together, so it counts. The pair met during Strictly 2017 but kept their romance under wraps until series end. Unusually for Strictly, they weren't dance partners – Gemma was coupled with Aljaz and Gorka danced with Alexandra Burke. One year on, the gorgeous couple are still going strong.
In a recent interview with HELLO!, Gemma told us: "Gorka is like my best mate. He's very supportive and understanding of my career, and I'm very supportive and understanding of his. It works well. I hope he's The One, otherwise I wouldn't be with him." Gorka said: "She makes me laugh, she makes me happy. I'm lucky to have her beside me." You guys!
Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec
Janette and Aljaz dated for two years before they joined the Strictly pro dancer team in 2013. Two years later the sweet couple got engaged, married in 2017 and are still happily coupled up today. A little known fact is that Janette briefly dated fellow dancers Pasha Kovalev and Artem Chigvintsev in the past but ultimately, Aljaz was the one for her. Strictly curse don't you dare touch these two!
Ola and James Jordan
We love the Jordans! Did you know that Ola and James have been together for 18 years and no Strictly curse has pulled them apart? Impressive. The dancers were long-time Strictly pros, both joining in 2006 and James leaving in 2013 and Ola in 2015.
Ola has previously told HELLO! about the secret to their long-lasting marriage, saying: "Because we danced together and spent so much time together, we grew closer and fell in love, and then when we didn't spend time together, we missed each other. We just wanted to spend more and more time together and I think that's what made us be together. We've always liked each other's company."
Flavia Cacace and Jimi Mistry
Coronation Street actor Jimi fell for pro dancer Flavia when they were paired together in 2010. They married in 2013 and are still together today, living in Surrey. Hurrah! Before finding lasting love with Jimi, Flavia had two relationships on the show - she dated actor Matt DiAngelo and her professional dance partner Vincent Simone. Meanwhile, Jimi has a daughter from a previous marriage.
Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev
Rachel first met Pasha, 38, when they were partnered together on the BBC ballroom competition back in 2013. At the time she was in her first year of marriage to high school sweetheart Jamie Gilbert but they split soon after her appearance on Strictly. Ok, that's kind of curse material, but Rachel and Pasha are still together five years on and are blissfully happy together. Rachel's even learning Russian.