Belfast Telegraph

Strictly’s Katya admits there were ‘hard days’ after split from husband Neil

The Russian professional dancer deleted Twitter after becoming the target of trolls.

Neil Jones and Katya Jones (Ian West/PA)
Neil Jones and Katya Jones (Ian West/PA)

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Katya Jones has admitted there were “hard days” during this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The Russian professional dancer, 30, split from her husband and co-star Neil Jones, 37, earlier this year after six years of marriage and 11 years together.

On Sunday night, she and celebrity partner Mike Bushell, 53, were axed from the show after the BBC sports presenter failed to deliver during a dance-off against Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice.

Jones applauded Bushell’s resolve, after he ended up in the bottom two for the third week running.

However, she admitted she had suffered at the hands of trolls.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, she said: “You (Bushell) were absolutely brilliant about it and, no matter what, he came in every Monday smiling and just like ‘Right, I have got to put another fight on.’

“He was absolutely brilliant. And, of course, there has been in the beginning quite a few… there were hard days, wasn’t it?

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Katya Jones with Mike Bushell and Michelle Visage with Giovanni Pernice wait to hear their fate after taking part in the dance-off (Guy Levy/PA)

“Just people saying things. So I just deleted the Twitter and that was brilliant after that.

“When it’s not in front of you it doesn’t exist so I just got rid of it.”

Neil Jones was forced to miss two live shows because of an injury, and fellow professional Kevin Clifton stepped in to dance with former Lioness Alex Scott.

Bushell, who often presents sport on BBC Breakfast on Fridays and at weekends, said viewers would have to wait a little longer before he returned to their screens.

He said he intended to keep dancing and had work to do before embarking on the show’s live tour.

He said: “I’m still not going to be on Breakfast for a long time.

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Tess Daly with Mike Bushell and Katya Jones after the BBC presenter became the latest celebrity to leave the Strictly Come Dancing dancefloor (Guy Levy/PA)

“The Strictly journey for now is not really over because we have to all go back for the Christmas special and the final. We have to learn group dances for the final.

“I have got to keep training because the tour starts in January and it’s four weeks on the road where we are doing two dances plus three group dances.

“So I can’t let up now. I have to keep in this shape, keep dancing, I’m going to be practising while Katya is in Blackpool. Well, I will be supporting in Blackpool.

“Any moment I have got I will be trying to keep those dances in my head.”

He added: “I will definitely be signing up to the local group.”

However, he joked that the teachers there might not be up to “Katya’s standard”.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC One on Saturday.

PA

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