The Strictly Curse has struck again: the top 10 Strictly Scandals

Uh oh, looks like Seann Walsh has become the latest victim of the Strictly curse. Every year it seems another couple is broken up by their partner’s participation on the show, so we’re counting down the 10 most high-profile #StrictlyScandals that the show has generated.

10. Brendan Cole & Natasha Kaplinsky

Breandan Cole and dance partner Natasha
Copyright: BBC/Strictly Come Dancing

Throwback to the very first series of the hit show in 2004, poor Brendan was the first to fall victim to what would become known as the Strictly Curse. When partnered with BBC newsreader Natasha, rumours spiralled, claiming that the pair were becoming more than just dance partners. While Natasha denied any romance between them, Brendan actually split with his then fiancé!

9. Daisy Lowe and Bradley Wade

Daisy Lowe in Strictly Come Dancing
Photo credit: Press Association

Not all contestants who split with their partners actually ended up dating their dance partner, though. Daisy Lowe appeared on the show in 2016 and was partnered with Aljaz Skorjanec, who is pretty dreamy by all accounts. Shortly after her appearance, she announced that she has split with her then boyfriend, Bradley Wade, stating that the gruelling schedule had caused the two to drift apart.

8. Giovanni Pernice & Georgia May Foote (2015)

Georgia and Giovanni
Photo credit: BBC/Strictly Come Dancing

But let’s be honest, most of the couples split because of their partners! Coronation Street star Georgia was dating one of her co-stars when she signed up to the show and was partnered with Giovanni. Foote then split with her boyfriend, and, in spite of reports, the dancing duo continued to deny that they were a couple… until they were pictured kissing. It wasn’t to last, though, as the pair split shortly before training for the 2016 series began.

7. Pasha Kovalev & Rachel Riley

Rachel Riley in Strictly Come Dancing
Photo credit: BBC/Strictly Come Dancing

Countdown star Rachel was quite newly married when she entered the show, but split from her then husband after just 15 months. While the pair denied that Pasha was involved in the split, the dance partners then confirmed that they were dating just a few months later. In fairness, this couple seems to have made it stick; four years later and they’re still together!

6. Kristina Rihanoff & Joe Calzaghe

Joe Calzaghe and dance partner Kristina
Photo credit: BBC Press Office

It’s not only the male dancers jumping into relationships with their partners! Sparks flew between Kristina and Joe when they were partnered on the show, enough for him to split with his then girlfriend in 2009. This wasn’t to last, though, as Kristina announced that the pair had split in 2013, stating that Joe “found it difficult when I dance with other men”. Perhaps he was afraid of the Strictly curse himself!

5. Kristina Rihanoff & Ben Cohen

Ben Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff
Photo credit: BBC/Strictly Come Dancing

Clearly not one to be put off by the Strictly curse, Kristina and former rugby player Ben were paired together on the 11th series of the show. Shortly after, Cohen announced that him and his wife of 11 years were separating, only to reveal a few months later that him and Rihanoff were in a relationship. The pair welcomed their first daughter in June 2016.

4. Flavia Cacace & Matt Di Angelo

Matt Di Angelo in Strictly Come Dancing
Photo Credit: Press Association

Also not afraid to blur the line between dance partners and relationships, Flavia was paired with Eastenders star Matt in 2007. Shortly after the show ended, the pair revealed that they were dating, after Flavia split with her then boyfriend and fellow professional dancer on the show, Vincent Simone. Their romance wasn’t destined to last, as…

3. Flavia Cacace & Jimi Mistry

Flavia and Jimi on Strictly Come Dancing
Photo Credit: BBC/Strictly Come Dancing

You guessed it, the curse struck again! Rumours have circulated that Flavia in fact got with Jimi while still in a relationship with Matt, as the pair announced their split just weeks before it was revealed that she was dating her newest dance partner. This pairing was seemingly more fated, though, as the pair got married in 2013.

2. Kevin Clifton & Louise Redknapp

Louise Redknapp in Strictly 2016
Photo Credit: BBC/Strictly Come Dancing

While her partner had nothing to do with their split, Louise and her famous footie husband, Jamie were perhaps the most high-profile of victims. The Strictly curse struck the Redknapps after Louise took part in the 2016 season and rediscovered her love for performing. She has since spoken out, claiming: ‘Sometimes I felt like crying because deep down inside me this voice was screaming: “This is what I have been missing.”’ After 19 years of marriage, Jamie and Louise divorced in 2017.

1. Kevin & Karen Clifton

Strictly stars Kevin & Karen Clifton
Photo Credit: Press Association

Taking the top spot, on a more positive note, are Kevin and Karen Clifton. The pair got together and were engaged before Kevin joined the Strictly cast in 2012, but announced their split earlier this year after three years of marriage. On the upside, the pair have publicly stated that they are still very close friends, and that they will in fact be going on tour together later this year! Who says exes can’t be friends?


If you love Strictly like we do and want to see the incredible talents of the contestants and their partners for yourself, you can grab tickets to the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour right here!


Shhhh…Strictly’s West End Secrets Revealed!

The glitter ball is back…and it might be borrowing more from the West End’s Theatres than you think! This weekend is the Series 14 launch of Strictly Come Dancing and since the show began back in 2004, we’ve seen hundreds of celebs shimmy, foxtrot and cha-cha-cha their way across the sequin-strewn dance floor. Little surprise then that so many of the judges, contestants and professional dancers have appeared in the West End, prior to, or in some cases as a result of appearances on TV’s top rated entertainment show! Join us for a waltz around the world of Strictly West End Theatre.


Strictly Come Dancing owes much to the traditions of light entertainment, where TV personalities learned their trade in the theatres and musical halls of Britain’s towns and cities.

Bruce Forsyth hosted Strictly Come Dancing for ten years
Bruce Forsyth hosted Strictly Come Dancing for ten years

Bruce Forsyth (2004-2013)
West End Credits:
1962 Every Night At The Palladium, starring alongside Morecambe and Wise
1964 Little Me – Cambridge Theatre
1978 The Traveling Music Show – Her Majesty’s Theatre

Brucie also appeared in numerous films, including Star! with Julie Andrews and Bedknobs and Broomsticks with Angela Lansbury.

Ronnie Corbett came to the rescue when Bruce Forsyth fell ill
Ronnie Corbett came to the rescue when Bruce Forsyth fell ill

Ronnie Corbett (Guest host)
West End Credits:
1963 The Boys from Syracuse – Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
1965 Twang!! – Shaftesbury Theatre

Ronnie Corbett is one of only five people ever to present the SCD main show…the others being Bruce Forsyth, Tess Daly, Natasha Kaplinsky and Zoe Ball.


Strictly’s judges, past and present, have a huge number of West End shows under their collective belts and dance tights…

Strictly judges - fine figures from the many worlds of dance
Strictly judges – fine figures from the many worlds of dance

Bruno Tonioli (Judge 2004-Present)
West End Credits as a choreographer:
1993 Viva España – Arts Theatre
1998 Steve Coogan’s The Man Who Thinks He’s It – Lyceum Theatre
2006 Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens – The Venue/Leicester Square Theatre

Craig Revel Horwood (Judge 2004-Present)
West End Credits as a performer:
Cats (Munkustrap), Miss Saigon and Crazy for You (Dance Captain)
West End Credits as a choreographer: Spend, Spend, Spend, Beautiful and Damned, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, Hey Mr Producer!

Arlene Phillips (Judge 2004-2008)
West End Credits as a choreographer: Time, Fire Angel, Starlight Express, Grease, Saturday Night Fever, We Will Rock You, The Sound of Music, Flashdance and The Wizard of Oz.

Darcey Bussell (Judge 2009-Present)
An illustrious career at the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden propelled Darcey Bussell to worldwide fame as a Prima Ballerina. Before joining the Royal Ballet School at 13, Darcey attended Arts Ed.

Judge Arlene Phillips was a member of Hot Gossip, a dance troupe who backed Sarah Brightman in I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trouper


The Strictly pros are all uber talented, and many have now brought those talents to the West End stage…

Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace
Vincent & Flavia have enjoyed West End seasons at the Phoenix Theatre (Midnight Tango) and Aldwych Theatre (Dance ‘til Dawn). The pair returns in 2016 for The Last Tango.

Kristina Rihanoff and Robin Windsor
Kristina and Robin fronted the 2013 return of Burn the Floor (see also Ali Bastian & Brian Fortuna) at the Shaftesbury Theatre. The show also featured the then less well-known Kevin Clifton, Karen Hauer and Aljaz Skorjanec.

Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag
Anton and Erin Cheek to Cheek was seen as part of the 2009 Sadler’s Wells Dance Season at the London Coliseum.


There are so many Strictly contestants who have come from or gone on to appear on the West End stage that it’s hard to know where to start. So, to quote Julie Andrews, “let’s start at the very beginning…”

Series 14 celebrities line up for the 2016 season
Series 14 celebrities line up for the 2016 season

Claire Sweeney (Series 1)

West End Credits: Roxie Hart (Chicago), Adelaide (Guys & Dolls)

Lesley Garrett (Series 1)
West End Credits: Mother Abbess (The Sound of Music), Nettie Fowler (Carousel)

Aled Jones (Series 2)
West End Credits: Bob Wallace (White Christmas)

Jill Halfpenny (Series 2)
West End Credits: Beverly (Abigail’s Party), Cora (Calendar Girls), Roxie Hart (Chicago), Paulette (Legally Blonde)

Emma Bunton (Series 4)
West End Credits: The Narrator (Charity Performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show)

So tell me what you want, what you really really want...
So tell me what you want, what you really really want, Emma

Kelly Brook (Series 5)
West End Credits: Jeannie (Fat Pig) and Celia (Calendar Girls)

Letitia Dean (Series 5)
West End Credits: Ms Darbus (High School Musical*) and, as a juvenile, Pepper (Annie)
*Hammersmith Apollo isn’t Strictly the West End we know…

Phil Daniels (Series 6)
West End Credits: Various roles at the National Theatre, Royal Court, and earlier in 2016, Thenardier (Les Miserables)

Jessie Wallace (Series 6)
West End Credits: Maureen (Rent Remixed)

Tom Chambers (Series 7)
West End Credits: Jerry Travers (Top Hat), Phil Davis (White Christmas)

Tom Chambers tapped his way to Strictly Champion
Tom Chambers tapped his way to Strictly Champion

Lynda Bellingham (Series 7)
West End Credits: Anita (Vincent River), Chris (Calendar Girls)

Ali Bastian (Series 7)
West End Credits: Burn The Floor, Shaftesbury Theatre (2010)
*Ali is the only Strictly celebrity to perform on the West End stage with her professional partner (Brian Fortuna).

Felicity Kendal (Series 8)
West End Credits: Judith Bliss (Hay Fever), Sheila (Relatively Speaking), Mrs Warren (Mrs Warren’s Profession), Florence (The Vortex), Julia (Fallen Angels) plus many more performances at the National Theatre and throughout the West End.

Kara Tointon (Series 8)
West End Credits: Eliza Doolittle (Pygmalion), Evelyn (Absent Friends), Giny (Relatively Speaking).
*Away from the West End, in 2015, Kara played Maria in the live TV broadcast of The Sound of Music to rave reviews.

Kara and Artem...possibly Strictly's most beautiful couple
Kara and Artem…possibly Strictly’s most beautiful couple

Rory Bremner (Series 9)
West End Credits: Crestwell (Relative Values)

Anita Dobson (Series 9)
West End Credits: Mama Morton (Chicago), Joan Crawford (Bette & Joan), Chris Harper (Calendar Girls), Mrs Meers (Thoroughly Modern Millie) Gladys (Pyjama Game) and Budgie with Adam Faith.

Jason Donovan (Series 9)
West End Credits: Joseph (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat), Tick/Mitzi (Priscilla Queen of the Desert)

Russell Grant (Series 9)
West End Credits: The Wizard (Wizard of Oz)

Jerry Hall (Series 10)
West End Credits: Cherie (Bus Stop), Mrs Robinson (The Graduate), Mother Lord (High Society), Celia (Calendar Girls)

Jerry Hall: No stranger to the West End
Jerry Hall: No stranger to the West End

Denise Van Outen (Series 10)
West End Credits: Roxie Hart (Chicago), Herself (The Play What I Wrote), The Girl (Tell Me on a Sunday), Maureen (Rent Remixed), Paulette (Legally Blonde)

Kimberley Walsh (Series 10)
West End Credits: Jovie (Elf) and Princess Fiona (Shrek! The Musical)

Series 3 and 11 are the ONLY series where we couldn’t find a contestant with links to West End Theatre.

Pixie Lott (Series 12)
West End Credits: Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
*Pixie trained at Italia Conti and appeared in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the Palladium aged just 13.

Simon Webbe (Series 12)
West End Credits: Curtis Shank (Sister Act) and Big Bad Wolf (The 3 Little Pigs) 

Snake hips Simon Webbe: like ketchup, best with the top off
Snake hips Simon Webbe: like ketchup, best with his top off

Helen George (Series 13)
West End Credits: Woman in White and Love Never Dies

So, what sequinned surprises lie in store for the contestants of series 14? Well, keep a close eye Eastenders’ Tameka Empson who has West End form and put in a fine comedy turn as Billie in Our House, Pop Star Will Young whose performance as the Emcee in Cabaret earned him an Olivier Award nomination, and Lesley Joseph whose packed career includes a West End stint as Miss Hannigan – a role she has shared on tour with Judge Craig Revel Horwood.

SCD Series 14 contestants also include: Anastacia, Claudia Frangapane, Daisy Lowe, Danny Mac, Ed Balls, Greg Rutherford, Laura Whitmore, Louise Redknapp, Melvin Odoom, Naga Munchetty, Ore Oduba and Robert Rinder.

Tess and Claudia - back on our screens...we can't wait!
Tess and Claudia – back together for series 14…and we can’t wait!

The new series launches on Saturday 3rd September BBC One at 6.50pm and runs until 8.15pm and will be available on BBC iplayer immediately after broadcast. It seems likely that the full series 14 will then begin on Friday 23rd & Saturday 24th if BBC scheduling runs to form, with the series finale broadcast on Saturday 17th December (the weekend before Christmas).

Be sure to vote for your favourites and most important of all…keeeeeep dancing!