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Janette Manrara sparks reaction as she shares daughter Lyra's meeting with co-star's baby

The former Strictly Come Dancing star and her husband Aljaz Skorjancec enjoyed an adorable reunion

Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec attend Flackstock Festival 2022© Getty
Diane Shipley
Senior Online Writer
March 6, 2024
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Janette Manrara may have left the Strictly but she's still close to her former co-stars, as she proved once again on Wednesday. 

On Instagram, the mum-of-one prompted plenty of comments after she and her husband, Aljaz Skorjancec, who also danced to fame on the BBC series, reunited with two beloved co-stars and their baby

Janette shared a series of heart-melting photos of the couple's outing with their friends Gorka Marquez and Gemma Atkinson and their baby son Thiago, who, like Lyra, was born last summer. 

The star wrote alongside the images: "Good times seeing these guys for brunch today! Lyra and Tio are already the best of mates. Thanks for looking after us @cibowilmslow #GranCafe." 

Janette looked delighted in one snap that showed her with Thiago on her knee, with the tiny tot sweetly dressed in dungarees and a red striped top, while another adorable photo showed the two babies gazing at each other in fascination and a third showed Gorka and Aljaz walking together as the doting dads pushed their children's pushchairs and did a thumbs-up for Janette's camera. 

Janette Manrara in a strapless dress and Aljaz Skorjanec in a black coat© Mike Marsland/WireImage
Janette and Aljaz are such proud parents

The It Takes Two co-host's fans rushed to share their love for the pictures, with one writing: "Omg how gorgeous is this." Others chimed in: "Cute and love that they both started to crawl the same week" and: "I adore seeing you all together." 

Janette has kept her fans updated on life as a mum since Lyra was born on 28 July at London’s Portland Hospital. The 40-year-old elected to have a Caesarean section on medical advice, because of her petite frame – and with two performers for parents, their baby girl’s arrival was suitably theatrical.

Janette enjoyed spending time with little Thiago© Instagram
Janette enjoyed spending time with little Thiago

"It was the most perfect day," Janette recalled in an exclusive interview with HELLO!. "We had a playlist, and Aljaz and I had a little slow dance before we went into theatre. 

"All morning we had been humming the song Little Bitty Pretty One and that was the song we chose for her to be born to. There was a screen over my tummy, but as she came out, the doctors offered to drop it so I could watch. 

Baby Lyra and baby Thiago were fascinated by each other© Instagram
Baby Lyra and baby Thiago were fascinated by each other

"It was literally like a cue to a performance: the music started, the curtain dropped and out she came, onto the stage of life. It was the most beautiful, emotional moment; Aljaz and I were both crying. We were in heaven." 

Strictly stars and their children

Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez sit on the sofa with the children
Gorka Marquez, Gemma Atkinson and their children
  • Strictly pro Gorka Marquez and former Strictly contestant Gemma Atkinson share two children, Mia, four, and baby Thiago. 
  • Strictly: It Takes Two host Janette Manrara and her dancer husband Aljaz Skorjanec are parents to baby girl Lyra.
  • Strictly winners Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley welcomed baby Minnie in January 2023.
  • Former Strictly pros James and Ola Jordan share a daughter, three-year-old Ella.
  • Former pro Pasha Kovalev and Rachel Riley share two daughters, Maven, three, and Noa, one.
  • Strictly judge and ex-pro Anton du Beke and his wife Hannah share adorable six-year-old twins George and Henrietta.
  • Former Strictly star Artem Chigvintsev and Nikki Bella became parents to son Matteo in July 2000.
  • Professional dancer Natalie Lowe and her husband James Knibbs welcomed their son Jack in December 2020. 
  • Ben Cohen and former Strictly dancer Kristina Rihanoff met in series 11 and now share a six-year-old daughter, Milena.
  • Ex-Strictly pro Brendan Cole and his wife Zoe Hobbs are parents to Aurelia, age 10, and Dante, five.

She continued: "Our playlist was on shuffle, and as they wrapped Lyra up and brought her over for me to see, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face started playing. I just couldn’t believe it. 

Janette Manrara reunited with her Strictly co-stars© Instagram
The dancer reunited with her Strictly co-stars

"Seeing her for the first time was magical. You hear about it, but until you experience it, you don't understand how deep that love is, from the first moment, when you see that baby in your arms. It’s an exceptional feeling." 

Doting dad Aljaz, who cut the umbilical cord, agreed. "I never thought I could love anyone or anything as much as Janette, but when you see your child for the first time, it’s something else," he said.

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