Belfast Telegraph

Strictly’s Katya Jones: Neil and I will always have that dance chemistry

The professional dancers split earlier this month after six years of marriage.

The red carpet launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2019 (Ian West/PA)
The red carpet launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2019 (Ian West/PA)

By Alex Green and Craig Simpson, PA

Strictly Come Dancing’s Katya Jones has said she and ex-husband Neil will always have “that dance chemistry” despite splitting after 11 years together.

The pair announced their separation in an official statement earlier this month after six years of marriage.

Their split came nearly a year after Katya was pictured kissing her former dance partner Seann Walsh, although they did not cite the comedian in their reasons for the break-up.

The pair danced for the first time since announcing their split at the red carpet launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2019.

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Katya Jones wore a ring featuring a large rock (Ian West/PA)

Neil was pictured without his wedding ring while Katya appeared to wear a ring featuring a large rock.

Russian dancer and choreographer Katya told the PA news agency that dancing with her estranged husband was something “you can’t take away”.

She said “It’s really, really nice. We love dancing together and that’s why we have chosen to keep on dancing together. He’s just got his own show. I’m just so happy for him.

“Dancing brought us together and that’s going to stay that way forever. It’s really nice, actually. All the fans, they are there for the dancing and for us.

“We enjoy dancing with all the dancers. They all have their plus sides. We’re like, ‘Ah, he is really good at this and he is really good at this’ and all that.

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Neil Jones arrived without his wedding ring (Ian West/PA)

“We have danced together for 11 years now. It’s just something you can’t take away. We just have that dance chemistry, no matter what.”

The event in London was also attended by this year’s celebrities, including social media star Saffron Barker, sports presenter Mike Bushell and US TV personality Michelle Visage, as well as judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli.

AJ Pritchard, who is celebrating his fourth series as a professional dancer, said he was “over the moon” about the success of his brother, former Love Island contestant Curtis.

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Katya Jones at the red carpet launch (Ian West/PA)

Curtis recently landed a job on BBC One’s dance competition show The Greatest Dancer.

He will take on the role of receptionist, and will greet contestants and discuss their history with them as they arrive for their auditions.

He and AJ will also be superstar coaches on the series alongside British singer and producer MNEK.

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AJ Pritchard and fellow professional dancer Nancy Xu dance at the launch (Ian West/PA)

AJ told the PA news agency: “I’m honestly over the moon. Obviously, Love Island has just happened. I can’t wait for everyone to see him on The Greatest Dancer next year.

“He’s done so well and, honestly, as a family business, we have got so much coming out next year. It’s very exciting times.”

Soap star Catherine Tyldesley, named by bookmakers as a favourite to win, advised fans to avoid betting on her.

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Catherine Tyldesley on the red carpet (Ian West/PA)

She said: “It’s just hilarious because nobody has seen me dance yet and I’m like Mr Bean. I wouldn’t be putting money on me, babes.

“I can’t wait (to get into training). We’ve been working on the group dance already. I’ve got the Strictly bug. We did three days of rehearsals last weeks and I was just buzzing. I can’t wait.

“I’m completely 50/50 on this. I’m really excited but I’m petrified. I’m a complete beginner. I will always have a smile on my face and I will always, always give 100%. That’s the best anybody can do really, and just keep my fingers crossed.”

This year’s Strictly will kick off in September.

Broadcaster Anneka Rice, footballer Alex Scott and reality star Jamie Laing are also among the stars taking part.

PA

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