KATYA Jones’ private life is almost as colourful as her Strictly Come Dancing routines and costumes.
The Russian dancer revealed last month that she had split from husband, Neil Jones ahead of the 17th series of the show, but why did they split up and which celeb will she be partnered up with this year?
Why has Katya Jones split from her husband Neil Jones?
On August 18, 2019 it was revealed that Katya and her husband Neil Jones had split – ten months after the Russian dancer was pictured kissing dance partner Seann Walsh.
The pair, who married in 2013, confirmed the break-up on Instagram.
In a joint statement, they said: “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.
“Our shared love of dance means we will keep working and dancing together as well as exploring individual projects. No matter what we do we will always support and respect each other.
“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. Lots of love from us both xx”
What is Katya Jones’ background?
Katya Jones, 30, is a pro dancer who was born Ekaterina Andreevna Sokolova in St Petersburg, Russia, to a Korean mother and Russian businessman father.
She started dancing when she was just six years old and then formed a partnership with her fellow dancer – and now ex-husband – Neil Jones in 2008.
Together they won the World Professional Latin Showdance Championships in 2015 – and they are also four times undefeated British National Professional Champions.
Then in 2016 she joined Strictly.
Ed Balls was Katya’s first partner and they had a good run, making it through to week ten thanks to their comedy performances before being eliminated.
In 2017 she was crowned the Strictly champion with dance partner and actor Joe McFadden.
Who is Katya Jones partnered with on Strictly 2019?
On April 26, 2019 it was revealed that Katya had been axed from the main line-up following her snog with then dance partner Seann Walsh.
BBC bosses keen to save the show’s family image have decided the Russian should not be paired with a celebrity.
However, in a massive u-turn by producers, in August 2019 it was revealed that she WOULD be partnered with someone.
Katya has been reprieved because show bookers signed up eight male celebrities instead of the planned seven, so they need an extra female dancer.
A show insider said: “Katya has got lucky. She was lined up for a back-up role following the controversy of the last series and accepted she would just have to ride this year out.
“But the way the bookings panned out, a space has come open and she’ll be part of the main series.”
When did Katya Jones kiss Seann Walsh?
On October 6, 2018, Katya and her 2018 partner, stand-up comedian Seann Walsh, became the first couple of the series to be hit by the “Strictly curse.”
The pair were pictured kissing in the street outside a London pub while on a night out.
A witness said: “They were snogging like a pair of teenagers and didn’t seem to care who might saw them.”
The pair took to Twitter to issue grovelling apologies to their respective partners.
Seann, who had been dating actress Rebecca Humphries for five years at the time, offered his “sincere apologies” and called the incident a “one-off drunken mistake.”
At the time Katya said: “I love my husband and we are very happy together, this is not a reflection on our relationship.”
More Strictly Gossip
When can I watch Strictly Come Dancing 2019 on BBC One?
Strictly Come Dancing is returning for its 17th series on BBC One in 2019 on September 7, 2019.
Proceedings technically kicked off with the red carpet launch on Monday, August 26, 2019.
But the main show will air live on Saturday evenings with the results the following day on Sundays.