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Strictly's Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec announce first baby exclusively with HELLO!

The former Strictly couple are expecting their baby in the summer

aljaz pregnant janette baby news
Tracy Schaverien
Features Contributor
February 19, 2023
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Married former Strictly Come Dancing stars Janette Manrara and Aljaž Škorjanec reveal they are expecting their first baby in an exclusive interview in this week’s HELLO! magazine.

The couple, who showcase Janette’s baby bump in a series of exclusive photos, tell how they found out the surprise news in early December as they were about to start IVF treatment. Their baby is due in late summer.

baby joy aljaz janette strictly hello front cover© Photo: HELLO!

The couple have shared their baby joy exclusively with HELLO!

"For the past couple of years we hadn’t been using protection but nothing was happening, so we thought IVF was the next best thing for us to do," said Janette, who quit her role as a professional dancer two years ago so she and Aljaž could try for a baby.

"I turn 40 later this year and the NHS offers really good services to women under 40. The doctor said that as soon as I got my period we would start injections, but my period never came.

"I know that IVF can be really strenuous on a woman’s body and there is no guarantee it will work, so to know that this little miracle just came from a wonderful night we had together is amazing. I think the baby decided to make Mum and Dad panic a bit before saying, ‘ok, fine, I’m coming up now.'"

As the couple had been trying for a baby for some time, they've had plenty of opportunity to consider the type of parents they will become. In the stunning behind-the-scenes video below, you can discover which of them they think will be the strict parent, and which will be the fun one. You can also watch all the best moments as the gorgeous baby bump photos were taken. 

Watch as Janette and Aljaž reveal what kind of parents they will be in our exclusive clip below...

How did Janette tell Aljaž she was pregnant?

Janette tells how she called her doctor before breaking the news to Aljaž. "I said, 'Oh my gosh, I think I'm pregnant, what do I do?' And she said, 'First of all, calm down and second of all, congratulations. What has Aljaž said?'

"And I said, 'I haven’t told him; he's in the living room!'" Finally, she handed her husband her positive pregnancy test. "We cried and hugged; it was quite a moment," she said.

Janette Manrara shows off her baby bump

Janette shows off her baby bump in a series of exclusive photos

Said Aljaž: "I was beside myself. I feel like I've been thinking and dreaming about that moment for so long. We were preparing for IVF mentally and physically and then it was just a relief to finally have that positive test. I have so much respect for any parent that goes through IVF, not just for what it puts them through physically but mentally too."

What happened at Aljaz and Janette's 12-week scan

The couple describe their 12-week scan, with Janette saying: "I was overwhelmed with emotion because it was real. There really was a little human being growing inside me. I didn't realise how much they moved; the baby was literally flipping about. We saw the arms moving and the feet moving and it was pretty magical. The doctor said, 'It's already dancing.'"

Aljaz Škorjanecs cradles Janette Manraras baby bump

The couple's baby is due in the summer

Aljaž and Janette are moving home!

The couple also reveal they are leaving their flat in London this week and relocating to Cheshire, where Strictly pro-dancer Gorka Marquez and his wife Gemma Atkinson – who Aljaž partnered in the 2017 series – live nearby and are expecting their second baby.

"It will be so nice to have Uncle Gorka and Auntie Gemma nearby," said Janette. "Gemma and I share the same birthday so I can't wait to tell her that we'll be having a baby together too."

Who do they think the baby will look like?

In the video above, the excited parents-to-be answer ALL our questions about what they'll be like as a new mum and dad, and what they think the baby will be like when it arrives. Will the baby become a dancer? Will it be a footballer? What will it be called? And who will it look like? "I'll be very happy if the baby looks more like Janette than me," answers Aljaž.

"Lies!" responds Janette, laughing! "You really want the baby to come out looking like you! Yeah he does, and I have a funny feeling it's going to look like Aljaž." Watch the video to get all the answers!

Why having children was so important to Aljaž and Janette

Becoming parents has always been on the agenda for the dancing duo, who previously opened up to HELLO! about their desires to start a family.

Janette said: "We love kids and family is really important to us, so fingers crossed, if all goes well, we will have children at some point. It's something we've talked about a lot and we both want in the future, so we just can't wait for when that time comes."

aljaz janette baby bump© Photo: HELLO!

The couple have wanted to become parents for years

How did Aljaž and Janette meet?

The adorable couple first met in 2010 when Janette flew to London to perform alongside Aljaž and other Strictly pros in Burn The Floor – a high-voltage thrilling live dance performance that has toured the globe since 1997. The couple fell in love and travelled the world dancing on stage as they began their enduring love story.

The couple were friends for a long time before they became romantically involved, though Janette has teased her husband in the past for "begging" for a first date. His chivalric efforts clearly paid off in the end!

Where did Aljaž and Janette get married?

The Strictly stars had not one, but three wedding ceremonies in order to showcase their love to all of their friends and family across the world. The couple began their wedding celebrations in London when they exchanged vows in front of their fellow Strictly stars Oti Mabuse, Katya Jones, Anton du Beke and more. They went on to have another two ceremonies in Slovenia and Miami, Florida over the course of three weeks, all of which were just as beautiful as one another.

Speaking of her first wedding, Janette told HELLO!: "The day we got married was in London, 15 July. That was in London at Chelsea town hall. My parents and brother and sister and Aljaž's parents, his sister and her husband, and just our closest friends were all there. So that moment was 'the moment' when we signed the papers, marriage certificate."

To read the full article, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! on sale now. Subscribe to HELLO! to get the magazine delivered free to your door every week or purchase the digital edition online via our Apple or Google apps.

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