Strictly's Neil Jones 'devastated as BBC DEMOTE him to backing dancer'

Strictly’s Neil Jones is ‘devastated as he is DEMOTED to a backing dancer just a year after he was given a celebrity partner for the first time’

Strictly star Neil Jones has been left ‘devastated’ after the BBC reportedly decided to demote him to a backing dancer for the upcoming series.

Bosses have apparently decided not to pair Neil, 38, who joined the show as a professional dancer in 2016, with a celebrity this year.

It was only last year that Neil was given a celebrity partner for the first time and the decision will no doubt come as a shock to many, after he managed to finish in fifth place with former footballer Alex Scott.

Sad news: Strictly Come Dancing star Neil Jones has been left ‘devastated’ after the BBC demoted him to a backing dancer for the upcoming series of the hit show

Instead he will reportedly have a reduced role as a background dancer and a member of group routines, according to reports in The Star.   

Neil is said to be ‘devastated’ by the decision. 

A show insider told the publication: ‘After a lot of discussion it was decided that Neil will be dropped from the line-up of professional dancers, so he won’t be partnered with a contestant. 

‘He will still be part of the show, but only in group ­routines. So viewers won’t see much of him any more.’ 

MailOnline have contacted representatives for Strictly and Neil for comment. 

Happier times: Neil was part of Strictly’s ensemble of pro dancers for three years before he finally got to be part of the competition last year when he was paired with former footballer Alex Scott, 35

Neil was part of Strictly’s ensemble of pro dancers for three years before he finally got to be part of the competition last year when he was paired with Alex, 35.

It comes as his ex Katya Jones, 31, is tipped to be part of the show’s first same-sex couple with Nicola Adams, 37.

The insider added: ‘It’s tough for Neil to take this news. He only had one year as a competing pro and now he’s a background dancer once again. 

Drama: It comes as his ex Katya Jones, 31, is tipped to be part of the show’s first same-sex couple with Nicola Adams, 37

‘This year he will watch Katya be the centre of attention while he sits on the sidelines.’ 

Neil’s role may have been cut because this year’s ­contest will feature fewer ­couples than usual. 

The coronavirus ­pandemic has forced the BBC to slash the number of episodes and start a month later than planned, with just 12 pairings ­instead of 15.

The new series, which starts next month on BBC One, will see celebs including Caroline Quentin, 60, and Bill Bailey, 55, compete for the Glitterball trophy.

New rules: Neil’s role may have been cut because this year’s ­contest will feature fewer ­couples than usual (pictured with former dance partner Alex Scott on tour) 

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