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What is the Strictly Come Dancing curse? From Joanne Clifton to Louise Redknapp we look at the stars who have succumbed to Strictly’s spell

BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing is much loved by both viewers and celeb contestants, but with it comes the famous curse.

Whether it’s break-ups or make-ups, divorce or engagements, the show has them all – here’s all you need to know about the curse, and who’s fallen victim to it…

The Strictly Curse has claimed many victims
The Strictly Curse has claimed many victims

What is the Strictly curse?

The ‘curse’ is a phenomenon that hits celebrities and their dance partners during their time on Strictly Come Dancing.

Due to the harsh schedules, sexy dance moves and close quarters with their partners, their off-screen romances sometimes suffer as a result.

Strictly became known as cursed after a series of very public break ups from their participants, and ever since more and more fan favourites have succumbed to the ‘curse’.

Over the course of fifteen series of the BBC favourite, nearly a dozen couples have split up thanks to their time on the show.

Who has fallen victim to the Strictly curse so far?

Here are a list of celebrities and dancers who have appeared on the show and split with a loved one shortly after…

Louise Redknapp (split from husband Jamie Redknapp)

Louise Redknapp is the latest star to be associated with the Strictly curse
PA:Press Association

It has been revealed that Louise Redknapp’s marriage has come ‘under strain’ since her appearance on the show.

The mum of two, was runner up in the 2016 series, is said to be desperately trying to save her 18-year marriage to Jamie Redknapp.

Determined not to let the famous ‘Strictly curse’ get the better of them, a source told The Sun: “They still love each other and are desperate to make it work.”

Jamie has reportedly also told pals that his marriage is over – but again, has revealed he wants to work to get them back on track.

Joanne Clifton (split with boyfriend Joe Edward-Bader)

Ore Oduba
Joanne won the show with partner Ore Oduba
PA:Press Association

The Sun exclusively revealed in February 2017 that Strictly professional Joanne Clifton had split from partner Joe Edward-Bader.

The split came just weeks after she beat her brother Kevin Clifton and lifted the Glitterball trophy with dance partner Ore.

Joanne and Joe reportedly referred to themselves as “the Two Jos” and were planning a long-term future after meeting on the musical, Norma Jeane.

News broke of the split after Joanne tweeted a picture of a man pointing a gun at a cupid with the caption “#goaway” on Valentine’s Day.

It is not known what cause them to break up, but it is believed there was nobody else involved.

Daisy Lowe (split from boyfriend Bradley ‘Frankie’ Wade)

Strictly Come Dancing 2016
PA:Press Association

There is no suggestion Daisy Lowe’s dance partner Aljaz Skorjanec is involved in her split[/caption]

Daisy Lowe became the first victim of the Strictly curse in 2016 after splitting with boyfriend Bradley ‘Frankie’ Wade.

A source close to the model revealed that Daisy and Bradley struggled to find enough time to spend together and after a discussion decided they would be better off as friends.

Daisy had been dating Bradley for five months but the pressure of Daisy’s extra training put too much strain on the relationship.

The model was partnered with Aljaz Skorjanec, and the pair were seen becoming close friends on and off the show, alongside his fiance, fellow Strictly professional Janette Manrara.

Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole (both split with their partners to get together)

Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole were the first victims
Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole were the first victims

Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole have become known as the first to fall victim to the curse in 2004.

The newsreader and her professional dance partner were both in relationships at the time – Natasha with Mike Barnard and Brendan with fellow Strictly professional Camilla Dallerup.

However, the two had an affair while on the show and later got together after leaving their partners for each other.

Ben Cohen (got together with his dance partner Kristine Rihanoff after splitting from wife) 

Ben was married when he was paired up with Kristina
Ben was married when he was paired up with Kristina
PA:Press Association

Ben Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff were partnered together in the eleventh series of the show in 2013.

Shortly after he finished his time on the show, he announced he was splitting from his wife of eleven years, Abby Blayney.

Kristina and Ben later announced that they were now in a relationship, and in June 2016 the couple had a baby daughter, named Milena.

Joe Calzaghe (split with girlfriend to date Kristina Rihanoff) 

Kristina was with Joe before Ben
Kristina was with Joe before Ben

Getting together with Ben wasn’t the first time Kristina started a relationship with someone she was partnered with on the show.

Boxing champ Joe Calzaghe started seeing the petite blonde after splitting with girlfriend Jo-Emma Larvin in 2009.

But the couple were done by 2013, with the dancer claiming Joe “found it difficult when I danced with other men”.

Matt Di Angelo and Flavia Cacace (Flavia split from boyfriend to be with Matt) 

Matt and Flavia paired up in 2007
Matt and Flavia paired up in 2007

Another dancer who is isn’t shy of extending her dance partner relationship out of the studio is Flavia Cacace.

She got with Matt Di Angelo in 2007, just after the show ended.

She dumped her fellow professional dance partner and boyfriend Vincent Simone for the EastEnders actor.

However, the pair split in 2010, and it was revealed Flavia was dating another celebrity contestant a few weeks later… Jimi Mistry.

Jimi Mistry (got together with Flavia while she was still dating Matt) 

But shortly after she ended things she began a relationship with her new dance partner, Jimi Misty
Shortly after she ended things she began a relationship with her new dance partner, Jimi Mistry

When Flavia and Jimi were partnered together in 2010, she was still with Matt.

However, just weeks after announcing her split from the soap star, the professional dancer got together with the Coronation Street star.

The couple are still together and were married in December 2013.

Rachel Riley (split with husband and started dating partner Pasha)

Countdown star Rachel ended her marriage and got with her dance partner Pasha not long afterwards
Countdown star Rachel ended her marriage and got with her dance partner Pasha not long afterwards
PA:Press Association

Countdown star Rachel Riley split from her millionaire husband of 15 months Jamie Gilbert – just after her stint on Strictly in 2013.

At the time, Rachel insisted her professional dance partner Pasha Kovalev was not the reason behind the split.

However, the pair later confirmed their relationship in 2014.

Three years later and the couple are still together.

Georgia May Foote (split with boyfriend and dated partner Giovanni Pernice)

Georgia May tried to keep her romance to Giovanni a secret
Georgia May tried to keep her romance to Giovanni a secret
Getty Images

Georgia was dating her former Corrie co-star Sean Ward when she took part in Strictly Come Dancing 2015.

But after coming runner-up in the final with Giovanni, the couple split.
Giovanni and Georgia were then spotted “openly kissing” on a romantic trip to Disneyland Paris, and holding hands in pictures obtained by The Sun.

Despite their blooming romance, the pair consistently denied they were a couple throughout the competition.

However, shortly before the start of training for Strictly 2016, they called time on their relationship, blaming their busy schedules.

In a sweet statement released on her Twitter, former Corrie star Georgia said that the pair split amicably and wish each other well in the future.

This years all-star line-up
Last year’s all-star line-up
PA:Press Association

How can Strictly contestants avoid the dreaded curse?

The Sun revealed that contestants and new dancers were receiving relationship advice on last year’s show in a bid to beat the curse.

BBC bosses have previously warned those taking part about the strain loved ones endure after spending so much time with their dance partner.

They were also advised of the dangers of starting training while having relationship difficulties, and told about previous celebrity victims whose messy splits exploded during the competition.

An insider said: “The curse bobs its head every year and the new people taking part have to be warned about it.

“It’s a full-on, intense show that puts strains on people’s relationships. They don’t understand what it’s like until it’s a couple of weeks in and it’s too late.”

Former Strictly stars James and Ola Jordan said the show curse could strike anyone as “four months is a long time rubbing up and down each other”.

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