Strictly Come Dancing Curse: all the relationships, affairs and breakups

From divorces and affairs to marriage and Strictly babies

strictly stars

by Nathan Katnoria |
Updated on

This year's Strictly is almost over and everyone is still wondering if the dreaded 'Strictly curse,' will hit any of this year's celebs right at their last spin on the dance floor.

Certainly up until now, the Strictly 2023 finalists and their dancer partners have been keeping it strictly professional. Again, pun only ever so slightly intended. Also SNORE.

The Strictly professionals and judges
The Strictly professionals and judges ©abc guy levy

But there is no denying, that in the two decades Strictly has been on our screens, there have been some major romantic affairs, fall-outs and even divorces.

What is the Strictly curse?

The Strictly curse is the name given to the phenomenon that seems to affects celebrities and professional dancers when they take part in the show. As a result of the gruelling schedules and the close relationships they develop with their dance partners, their off-screen romances with their partners at home become, erm, affected.

Strictly came to be regarded as "cursed" after a series of high-profile break-ups affected the cast. To date, almost a dozen relationships have come to an end for reasons that have been linked to the show.

Is the Strictly curse real?

The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and given the number of relationships that have been affected by the Strictly curse, it's safe to assume that it is very much real. However, obviously this doesn't mean that Strictly was the sole reason for the breakdown of these romances.

Katya and Seann
Katya and Seann hit headline ©getty (Photo by Ricky Vigil M/GC Image

What happened with Seann Walsh?

The show's dreaded Strictly curse seemingly affected series 2018 contestants comedian Seann Walsh and his married pro partner Katya Jones.

Seann was in the middle of a huge scandal when he was caught kissing his professional partner Katya Jones. The comedian's furious girlfriend publicly slammed the star and dumped him on social media. Katya remained united with her husband (and fellow Strictly Come Dancing professional) Neil Jones for a short while but they have now split.

Strictly Come Dancing: relationships, affairs and romances


Strictly Come Dancing Affairs That Gave Us The Shock of Our Lives

Natasha Kaplinsky Brendan Cole1 of 15
CREDIT: Getty Images

1. Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole

Strictly's Camilla Dallerup said she suffered a 'mini death' when her fiancé Brendan Cole reportedly left her in 2004 for his Strictly dance partner Natasha Kaplinsky. Natasha and Brendan never confirmed they were romantically involved. Natasha said, "There was chemistry, of course, and I certainly fell in love with dancing, but I did not fall in love with Brendan."The pair have since married other people, and Camilla married former Hollyoaks star Kevin Sacre in 2010.

Joe Calzaghe and Kristina Rihanoff2 of 15
CREDIT: Getty Images

2. Joe Calzaghe and Kristina Rihanoff

Just one week into his stint on Strictly in 2009 and Joe Calzaghe split with his girlfriend of five years, Jo-Emma Larvin. It wasn't long before the boxer and his professional dance partner Kristina Rihanoff embarked on a romance. Unfortunately it wasn't to last and they split four years later.

Ben Cohen3 of 15
CREDIT: Getty Images

3. Ben Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff

Following his 2013 stint on the show, rugby star Ben Cohen revealed he'd split from wife of 11 years, Abby. He was then forced to deny he was romantically involved with former partner Kristina Rhianoff after the pair were spotted linking arms on a London tube train.Ben and Kristina have since started a relationship and the pair welcomed their first child together in 2016.

Matt Di Angelo4 of 15
CREDIT: Getty Images

4. Matt Di Angelo and Flavia Cacace

Things must have been awkward backstage at Strictly in 2007 when Flavia Cacace reportedly dumped her long-term dance partner and boyfriend of eight-years, Vincent Simone, for EastEndersactor Matt Di Angelo. At the time the actor told the Daily Mail: "The funny thing was the story did not start off as true, but the more you read it, the more you started to believe it and actually act on it." Flavia split from Matt in 2010 and went on to wed actor Jimi Mistry (who she met whilst partnered together on Strictly in 2010) in December 2013.

Ali Bastian5 of 15
CREDIT: Getty Images

5. Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna

Former Hollyoaks actress Ali Bastian and her dance partner, Brian Fortuna, got together in 2009 after starring together on the show - but split a year later.

Rachel Riley6 of 15
CREDIT: Getty Images

6. Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev

Rachel Riley surprised fans when she revealed she was splitting from husband of just 15 months Jamie Gilbert, during her time on Strictly in 2013. Less than a year later, the Countdown star announced she was dating her Strictly partner Pasha Kovalev - but insisted there was no overlap between the two romances.

Kara Tointon7 of 15
CREDIT: Getty Images

7. Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev

Kara Tointon not only bagged the Strictly glitter ball in 2010 but also a hunky new boyfriend when she embarked on a romance with her Strictly partner Artem Chigvintsev. However, after three years of being together the pair split, and the former EastEnders actress told The Telegraph, "We are not together. We're fine, but we aren't a couple anymore."

Georgia May Foote8 of 15
CREDIT: Getty Images

8. Georgia May Foote and Sean Ward

When Georgia entered the competition in 2015 she was dating her Coronation Street co-star, Sean Ward. At the time she reassured everyone that she was in a happy relationship and she was just good friends with her dance partner Giovanni Pernice. However, shortly after the competition finished she ended her relationship with Sean and started a relationship with Giovanni. Unfortunately, Georgia and Giovanni split before series 14 started. The former Coronation Street actress announced the news on Twitter, writing, "It is with great sadness we have decided to split up. There is nobody else involved. Although it was not an easy decision to make sometimes you realise that it is better to be friends and this is one of those times. We both have very busy work schedules for the rest of the year so we are both going to focus on our upcoming work projects and we wish each other well for the future."

Helen George9 of 15
CREDIT: Getty Images

9. Helen George and Oliver Boot

Helen George appeared on Strictly in 2015 and split from her husband Oliver Boot of three years.

Susanna Reid10 of 15
CREDIT: Getty Images

10. Susanna Reid Dominic Cotton

Susanna Reid featured on Strictly during series 11. After the show finished, Susanna and her partner Dominic Cotton split. The TV presenter denied the end of their relationship being related to the Strictly curse, she told the Daily Mirror, "I think people think Strictly was bound in what happened. It wasn't. Obviously things have been challenging in my personal life but we are getting things sorted."

Louise and Jamie Redknapp11 of 15
CREDIT: Shutterstock

11. Louise and Jamie Redknapp

The world was shocked in 2017 when Louise and Jamie Redknapp confirmed they were divorcing after 19 years of marriage. The news came just months after she competed in Strictly Come Dancing 2016 alongside her professional dance partner Kevin Clifton.

Karen and Kevin Clifton12 of 15
CREDIT: Shutterstock

12. Karen and Kevin Clifton

After months of speculation Strictly Come Dancing professionals Karen and Kevin Clifton confirmed they'd split. Despite breaking up they've insisted they'll remain friends. During Chris Evans' breakfast show, Kevin explained, "Privately we are not together anymore but professionally we are stronger than ever before. Dance is how we came together and is what glues us together. We're still the best of friends – we still have a lot of love and respect for each other. What we've found is that since we've been honest with each other it's unlocked our creativity. "Karen added, "We have such strong chemistry and it's about entertaining and inspiring. At the end of the day it's about giving back to fans. We're feeling very positive."

Katya Jones and Seann Walsh13 of 15
CREDIT: Shutterstock

13. Katya Jones and Seann Walsh

Everyone was shocked when photos of Seann Walsh and his professional dance partner Katya Jones were pictured together KISSING on the streets of London. While Katya was married to fellow Strictly professional Neil Jones, Sean was dating actress Rebecca Humphries. When news of the affair came to light, they both apologised and blamed it on a "drunken mistake".

15. Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton14 of 15

14. Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton

Stacey Dooley caused controversy when she went public with her romance with dance partner Kevin Clifton. Three months after appearing on the show, Stacey and then boyfriend Sam Tucknott split, with reports suggesting Sam was paranoid about Stacey's relationship with Kevin, after finding secret messages between the two on Stacey's phone.

Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin15 of 15
CREDIT: BBC Pictures

15. Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin

Gordon Ramsay's daughter Tilly sparked romance rumours with dance partner Nikita Kuzmin when they were spotted looking close while leaving rehearsals, and fuel was only added to the fire when his girlfriend Nicole Wirt shared some cryptic social media posts that appeared to hint at heartbreak.

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