Strictly Come Dancing has seen a lot of relationships form and break up over the years which has resulted in the infamous 'Strictly curse' tag. And one couple who have had their fair share of headlines over the past year are Neil and Katya Jones, who announced their split in August following 11 years together. The couple have remained on good terms and continue to work together on the show and are currently both single. Their relationship first came into the spotlight in October 2018 after Katya was pictured kissing her then dance partner Seann Walsh, which resulted in Seann's relationship with girlfriend Rebecca Humphries ending. But where did Katya and Neil first meet? HELLO! takes a look back at their relationship history.
Neil and Katya Jones met in 2008
Where did Neil and Katya Jones meet?
Neil and Katya met in Blackpool in 2008 when they became dance partners. Over the course of their careers they became four-time British National Champions and three-time winners of the World Amateur Latin Championships. Their chemistry was apparent, and both had recently split from their respective partners, and it didn't take long before they formed a romantic relationship. In 2012, Neil proposed to Katya.
Neil and Katya Jones' wedding
Two years after Neil popped the question, the Strictly couple got married in London in August 2013. In true pro style, the couple even choreographed a dance routine to No Getting Over You by David Guetta and Chris Willis, which was filmed before they walked down the aisle. The video saw Katya running through the streets in her wedding dress with her bridesmaids, while Neil rapped in front of a mirror with his groomsmen. Three years after their wedding, Neil and Katya joined Strictly, with Neil becoming one of the male pro dancers while Katya was one of the competitors. Her first dance partner was former MP Ed Balls, and the pair performed one of the show's most iconic dances to Gangman Style. In 2017, things couldn't have gone any better for Katya when she was crowned the Strictly champion with her dance partner Joe McFadden.
A look back at Neil and Katya Jones' wedding video
Katya and Seann Walsh's kiss
Katya and Neil's relationship was put under strain in October 2018 when Katya was pictured kissing Seann in a high street after their rehearsals. Seann's girlfriend of five years Rebecca Humphries publicly dumped him as a result, but Neil vowed to stand by Katya. After the pictures were published in The Sun, Katya apologised publicly on Twitter, writing: "I'm so sorry about any offence or hurt I may have cause with my actions. I wasn't thinking and it was a one-off mistake after some drinks. I love my husband and we are very happy together, this is not a reflection on our relationship." Katya and Seann also apologised on It Takes Two.
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."
Katya's kiss with Seann Walsh hit headlines in October
Neil and Katya Jones' split
While fans thought that Neil and Katya's relationship had been rebuilt following the kiss, the pair surprised everyone in August after announcing their decision to separate. In a joint statement posted on social media, they wrote: "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."
Neil and Katya have remained on good terms since their split
Neil and Katya's relationship following their separation
Neil and Katya have remained on good terms since their split and regularly spend time together with their fellow pro dancers. Neil spoke about his professional relationship with Katya during an interview with the Radio Times in September, where he explained why their separation won't affect Strictly. He said: "She's my dance partner. We've been together a long time.” Katya also revealed that she had been working on his upcoming tour, Gingerland, saying: "I've designed all the dresses and costumes for our shows. He's going to be busy with [his tour] but the rest of the time we will be doing shows as usual, gigs together and whatever we get offered. Dancing stays the same. Nothing changes."
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