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Ian Waite and Ian with ex-husband Drew split image© Shutterstock/@ianjwaite/Instagram

Strictly star Ian Waite speaks out amid split from husband

Ian Waite married airline pilot Drew Merriman in 2017

Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
5 days ago
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Strictly star Ian Waite has split from his husband of seven years, Drew Merriman. The choreographer married the airline pilot back in 2017 in a ceremony held at Woburn Abbey.

Drew is now in a new relationship with Jon McMahon, whom he met at work. Jon is a former winner of national modelling competitions Mr Liverpool North and Mr British Isles.

In a statement to HELLO!, Ian said he and Drew had "different outlooks on life" and wished him all the best in his new relationship. 

The full statement reads: "My split with Drew was nothing whatsoever to do with any so-called Strictly 'curse', it was more about us having different outlooks on life and what relationships should be like, which meant we were not compatible.

"I wish Drew & his new partner all the best for the future," he added. 

Ian Waite with ex-husband Drew © @ianjwaite/Instagram
Ian Waite has split from his husband of seven years, Drew

Drew opened up about his relationship in a recent Instagram post marking the end of Pride month in June. "I get to be me, and do all of this with the most incredible man by my side," he penned alongside a carousel of snaps of his boyfriend. 

Revealing how they met, the pilot continued: "It was just a normal day at work, until it wasn't. We started talking and everything just seemed to fall into place. You are the most incredible person I’ve met. You are there through everything I go through. 

Drew Merriman with boyfriend Jon© @dwaite89/Instagram
Drew Merriman has moved on with new boyfriend Jon

"We laugh together, we cry together and I'm so lucky that I can call you my boyfriend. After some of the most difficult years of my life you have made things make sense, and made me know what I want and where I want to be in this world."

Drew Merriman with boyfriend Jon© @dwaite89/Instagram
Drew and Jon met at work

Ian and Drew tied the knot inside the 18th-century Sculpture Gallery at Woburn Abbey in a ceremony featured exclusively in HELLO! magazine. The wedding was attended by various Strictly stars, including Craig Revel Horwood, Natalie Lowe, Anton Du Beke, Erin Boag, and Vincent Simone, as well as former contestants weather presenter Carol Kirkwood, retired swimmer Mark Foster, and Zoe Ball, who was partnered with Ian for series three.

Ian said of the ceremony: "The ceremony was wonderful, and then walking back past our friends was my highlight actually."

ian waite wedding
Ian and Drew tied the knot in 2017

Speaking about their relationship at the time, Drew told us: "We're different in small ways, but we agree on the big things, like being ambitious about our careers, views on how we want to raise a family."

Ian starred as a professional dancer on Strictly for seven series before eventually joining spin-off show It Takes Two in 2011. 

During his time as a pro dancer, he was partnered with the likes of Penny Lancaster, Jodie Kidd, and Jade Johnson. 

Strictly Come Dating: couples who met on the dancefloor

As well as Gemma and Gorka, there are several other loved-up couples who met during their time on Strictly

  • Janette Manrara and Aljaz Škorjanec met on Strictly in 2010, before marrying in 2017 and welcoming a baby, Lyra, in 2023.
  • Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev met during the 2013 series. They married in 2019 and have two children together.
  • Dianne Buswell and Joe Sugg fell in love while competing in 2018. They live together in Brighton.
  • Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton met in 2018 and welcomed a baby girl, Minnie, in 2023.
  • Max George and Maisie Smith shared their Strictly experience together in 2020, but didn't announce their relationship until 2022.
  • Tyler West and Molly Rainford starred in the 2022 series together and have been going strong ever since!
  • Kai Widdrington and Nadiya Bychkova are both professionals on the show, and began dating in 2022.
  • Kristina Rihanoff and Ben Cohen were partnered together on the show in 2013, confirming their romance in 2014. They share a daughter together, Mila, who was born in 2018.

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