Strictly curse hits professionals just as badly as the starry-eyed celebs

They’re the couples who set the dancefloor alight with x-rated moves, so it’s no secret many Stricly Come Dancing couples are just as steamy off set.

It doesn’t matter if they’re single or not – there’s something in the water at Strictly HQ that gets these dancers hot under the bejazzled collar.

The "Strictly Curse" was coined after multiple contestants saw their personal life crumble after appearing on the show.

Kevin and Karen Clifton are the latest Strictly couple to see their love bubble burst under the hot Strictly lights.

Kevin’s dance partner Louise Redknapp fell victim to the curse last year, after confirming her split with husband of 19 years, footballer Jamie Redknapp .

During an interview on This Morning she winked: "Doing Strictly – Ruth you know this – is does something…"

We have a look back at the love that fizzled and couples that sizzled long after they hung up their dancing shoes.


Kevin and Karen Clifton

Karen and Kevin Clifton were Strictly in love when they married in July 2015 but announced their split in March 2018.

Speaking on Chris Evans’ breakfast show, Kevin said: "Privately we are not together anymore but professionally we are stronger than ever before."

The husband-and-wife duo have been plagued by split rumours after Karen was spotted getting friendly with a 27-year-old accountant named Stuart Wood in early December.

There was also speculation that Kevin’s close friendship with Louise Redknapp , who was his Strictly partner in 2016, had angered Karen.

Louise is reported to have been "supporting him through his woes," according to the Daily Star – after the pals became close.

Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole

The newsreader and her professional dance partner were the first Strictly couple to kick off the curse in 2004 for Season One, shacking up while both still in other relationships.

Post-show, they both left their partners, but still continued to deny there was any funny business off-screen.

Matt Di Angelo and Flavia Cacace

The couple got together in 2007 after the show ended, with Flavia – the pro – leaving her partner – another pro – Vincent Simone for Matt, who was then 19-years-old.

It wasn’t meant to be, though, with the two calling it quits in 2010 with Flavia hooking up with her new dance partner Jimi Mistry (more on that in the sizzle section…).

Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna

It takes two to tango and Hollyoaks star Ali Bastian found she really liked tango-ing with her Strictly partner, Brian Fortuna, so much so they decided to take it to real life in 2009.

They even danced together in the West End show Burn The Floor for two and a half months.

Still, not even the art of dance could save them, and a year later the pair shimmied away from one another for good.

Joe Calzaghe and Kristina Rihanoff

These two were partnered on the show and, in 2009, boxing champ Joe split with his girlfriend Jo-Emma Larvin to start a relationship with Kristina .

Their love fizzled by 2013, with Kristina saying: Joe "found it difficult when I danced with other men."

Can’t blame the guy seeing as we all know what happened when she was partnered with Ben Cohen (oh, you don’t? Best read on then…).

Kara Tointon & Artem Chigvintsev

The Eastenders star jived her way to success after winning the show in 2010 – finding the Strictly Curse more a Strictly Cupid.

However, four years later Cupid took a night off and the couple split.

Speaking about their professional pairing, Kara said: "I was single and they put me with the single guy. I was so angry…I was determined we wouldn’t get together and then of course you’re spending so much time with this person and he was so wonderful…so yes, it was inevitable, really."

Goes a long way to explaining the rest of the loved up couples, non?

Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice

Georgia was loved up with her Corrie co-star Sean Ward when she headed onto Strictly’s 2015 season.

Once her run on the show ended, though, her and Sean were no more…and she was well onto Giovanni.

The two were spotted kissing at Disneyland Paris – where all romance thrives – and pictured holding hands.

"Happiest Place On Earth" or not, Disneyland couldn’t save the couple, who called time on their affair before the next season of the show even hit our screens.

But not all love has to end in dancefloor tragedy.

Which is why we now bring you…


Ola and James Jordan

While not paired on the show, the two professional dancers hooked up – marrying in 2003 and no doubt having one of the best first dances of all time. No lessons required.

Recently Ola admitted when she first shacked up with James he was married. There’s the drama we know and love!

The couple are still going strong 14 years later.

Jimi Mistry and Flavia Cacace

Oh the controversy! Just weeks after her real-life split with former Strictly-partner Matt Di Angelo was announced, Flavia got together with Corrie star Jimi in 2010.

Won’t someone please think of the children!

Good news, though, the couple married in December 2013 in a dream wedding, proving when you leave your partner for another and then leave them for another, the third times a charm.

Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev

Up against a guy with a name like Pasha, Rachel ‘s husband of 15 months, Jamie Gilbert, didn’t stand a chance!

Countdown star, Rachel, announced her split from her husband just after her run on Strictly ended in 2013, saying her dancing relationship with Pasha was not behind the split.

Eh, whatever they say: the pair confirmed their relationship in 2014 and, three years later, are still together, with Rachel recently saying there is no rush to get married: "I am in love now. I don’t feel I have to get married.

"I don’t think I need that pressure any more. And I am perfectly happy."

Pasodoble? More like Pash odoble.

Ben Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff

Kristina’s second walk down Fall-in-love-with-your-Strictly-partner Lane came when she was partnered with rugby player Ben Cohen.

Partnered together in 2013 for Season 11, their connection went further than the Cha Cha, and shortly after his time on the show came to an end he split from his wife of 11 years, Abby Blayney.

Not long after that, Kristina and Ben announced they were in a relationship and – cue happy ending – welcomed a baby daughter, Milena, in June 2016.

See, not all curses have to end in tears. After all, it makes for a slippery dancefloor.

Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara

Two professional dancers DO make a right, as these two newcomers to Strictly have proved after marrying this year.

No fears for the Curse plague these two, though, as Aljaz recently said: "We were together when we joined the show. We don’t get jealous of each other’s bond with celebrity partners because we understand that dancing can be emotional, but we also know how well suited and in love we are."

Ain’t love grand?

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