From Louise Redknapp to Seann Walsh – stars who fell for the Strictly Curse

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Strictly Come Dancing has built quite a reputation for being the show to cause numerous marriage and relationship failures.

Dozens of celebrities have now surrendered to the BBC phenomenon, known more widely as the dreaded “Strictly Curse”.

Intimate dance routines, demanding schedules and close friendships with professional dancers have all been suggested as possible reasons to caused friction for off-screen partnerships.

Back in 2004, the BBC One show became a quick hit with the nation – but it wasn’t always the dancing that demanded attention.

Over the years, there have been many break-ups, divorces, a number of proposals and more recently the first ever Strictly baby.

Here, Daily Star Online delves into the celebs who succumbed to the so-called curse.

Seann Walsh and Katya and Neil Jones

From Louise Redknapp to Seann Walsh – stars who fell for the Strictly Curse
Nobody had readied themselves for the Seann Walsh and Katya scandal
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Nobody had braced themselves for the scandalous snog between comedian Seann Walsh and Katya Jones, who was married to co-star and pro dancer Neil, at the time.

Even though the passionate kiss had been publicly exposed, it seemed that the Russian dancer and Neil would survive the “curse” as they opted for marriage support instead.

Despite their efforts, the couple, who tied to knot in 2013, jointly announced their break-up on Instagram just 10 months later.

The statement read: “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.”

Seann had been in a relationship at the time too, however his partner Rebecca Humphries ended things not long after the kiss.

Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev

Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev married and welcomed a baby daughter into the world
Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev married and welcomed a baby daughter into the world
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Soon after appearing on the BBC programme in 2013, Countdown bombshell Rachel Riley announced she had split from her millionaire husband Jamie Gilbert.

At the time, she was adamant that her dance partner Pasha Kovalev had not been the cause of her marriage breakdown.

It wasn’t until 2014 that the couple formally announced their romance to the nation.

Pasha and Rachel later tied the knot and even welcomed baby daughter, Maven Aria Riley Kovaleva, to the world in December 2019.

Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice

Georgia and Giovanni sparked up a brief romance after appearing on the show together
Georgia and Giovanni sparked up a brief romance after appearing on the show together

During 2015, Georgia, who was better known for her role as Katie Armstrong on Coronation Street, partnered with Italian-born dancer Giovanni Pernice.

At the time, the brunette bombshell was dating her Coronation Street co-star Sean Ward.

Not long after her stint on Strictly, she released an announcement confirming that she and Sean had called things off and was later spotted “openly kissing” Giovanni during a Disneyland trip.

However, just before the competition began again in 2016, the pair parted ways.

Ashley Roberts and Giovanni Pernice

Giovanni and Ashley split up earlier this year
Giovanni and Ashley split up earlier this year

In 2018, Giovanni grew close to Pussycat Dolls’ Ashley Roberts during rehearsals, with the couple later sparking up a one-year romance afterwards.

However, it wasn’t meant to be, with the pair releasing a joint announcement that they would “remain friends” in January 2020 as they split up.

After the split, the duo removed photos of each other from their Instagram accounts.

Louise Redknapp

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 20/09/2016 – Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2016 – TX: 24/09/2016 – Episode: Strictly Come Dancing 2016 – Couples (No. n/a) – Picture Shows: L-R. **IMAGE UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 00.01 ON TUESDAY 20 SEPTEMBER 2016** Louise Redknapp, Kevin Clifton – (C) BBC – Photographer: Jay Brooks

Louise Redknapp’s marriage fell apart following her appearance on the show in 2016.

The mum-of-two, who had been married to football ace Jamie Redknapp for 18 years, jointly filed for divorce in December 2017

At the time, Louise claimed that the BBC show may have helped her decision to leave her husband Jamie, as it highlighted a yearning to be in the limelight again.

In an interview with Stella magazine, she confessed: “Sometimes I felt like crying because deep down inside me this voice was screaming, ‘This is what I have been missing!'”

Recently on Sky One’s Redknapp’s Home Fixture, Louise’s ex fuelled rumours that he was thinking about going on the show.

Then, his football legend dad Harry, joked: “One thing’s for sure Jamie, you won’t be getting divorced if you go on there.”

Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton

Stacey and Kevin were partnered together in 2018, later sparking a romance and are still together today
Stacey and Kevin were partnered together in 2018, later sparking a romance and are still together today

Stacey and Kevin lifted the Strictly trophy in 2018, with rumours later emerging that the pair had grown close during their time on the show.

On March 27, 2019 Stacey revealed that she had split from her boyfriend Sam Tucknott, who she had dated for three years.

The journalist and her long-term beau became the 14th couple to have succumbed to dreaded show’s “curse”.

An insider revealed to The Sun at the time: “Stacey confided in her friends that she was struggling to hold down her romance with Sam because her life has been a whirlwind after Strictly.”

A source added: “Stacey and Kevin were never anything more than pals but Sam found it quite hard to watch at times. There was this attractive, single man spending so much time with his girlfriend.”

Last year Kevin and Stacey announced that they were in fact an item and are still going strong to this day.


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