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Neil Jones speaks out on Strictly replacement criticism

He has urged fans to support Kevin Clifton

neil jones kevin clifton
Fiona Ward
Fiona WardActing Fashion and Beauty Editor
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While Neil Jones was sadly unable to perform again on Saturday night's Strictly Come Dancing, he did take to his Instagram Stories to speak out on the debate between fans concerning his replacement Kevin Clifton. Some viewers have questioned why Gorka Marquez was not chosen to to stand in with Neil's partner Alex Scott, since he wasn't given a partner this year. Neil wrote on Saturday morning: "Thank you for all your supportive messages… Sorry I can't answer you all. Please let's not focus on which pro should dance with @alexscott2 as they are all great and I don't like to hear a bad word against any of them. Let's just enjoy the show and I will get fit again so I can dance with my fantastic PARTNER."

neil jones at somnium

Neil spoke out in support of Kevin

It was revealed on Friday that Neil's injury would keep him out of the competition for another week. "Neil Jones has been advised to rest again this weekend, so will not be dancing on tomorrow’s show," a BBC statement read. "Kevin Clifton will be dancing with Alex Scott." Neil confirmed the news to Zoe Ball on spin-off show It Takes Two

MORE: Strictly's Janette Manrara and Will Bayley share sneak peek of what could have been

Despite some fans' disappointment that Gorka hasn't returned to the main show, the Spanish pro proved there was no hard feelings on Sunday, when he posted a message to Neil, Kevin and Alex. After Kevin had posted a tribute message to Alex, Gorka responded, writing: "Great work from you guys," alongside some clapping emojis. 

View post on Instagram

Gorka had previously shared a number of messages from fans who were watching the show on Twitter, which all expressed their disappointment that he wasn't dancing with Alex. "Why haven't you got a partner this year? @bbstrictly come on, he's an amazing dancer!" one read. Another fan had written: "For real @gorkamarquez1 would have been perfect to dance with Alex tonight since Neil couldn't due to injury. Safe to say Gorka deserves a lot of appreciation."

READ: Kevin Clifton and Gorka Marquez reveal their hopes ahead of exciting Strictly milestone

Kevin posted his own tribute to Alex and Neil on Saturday morning, simply reposting an Instagram photo of the pair and writing: "Team red."