Strictly couple split months after kissing scandal
Strictly Come Dancing professionals Neil and Katya Jones have announced their separation after six years of marriage.
The pair, who have been together for 11 years, said in a joint statement on Sunday that their relationship had become more of a friendship.
There was no mention of the headline-hitting scandal last year, when Katya was spotted kissing comedian Seann Walsh, her then celebrity dance partner on the BBC show.
The statement said: “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.”.
It went on to confirm they would continue to work and dance together – including on Strictly – but would also be exploring solo projects.
“We wish one another every happiness and we will remain the best of friends. We are really looking forward to getting back to the ballroom and can’t wait to keep on dancing,” it added.
The kissing controversy led to Neil Jones being labelled the latest victim of the so-called Strictly curse, with his wife and Walsh later performing a “dance of shame” on the programme.
A spokeswoman for the pair said it would be “incorrect and unfair” to attribute the breakup “to one isolated incident”.
She added: “Many people make such a decision to separate when they realise that their relationship has become more of a friendship.”
Speaking to Lorraine Kelly earlier this year, the couple said they had moved past the controversy, which happened back in October.
Neil said he felt the public and media “overreacted” to the incident, while Katya confirmed they were “over it” and wanted to “just move on”.
The couple celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary earlier this month, and marked the occasion with posts to their social media accounts.
At the time, Neil wrote that he was “jumping with joy”.