Craig Revel Horwood claims Strictly curse 'rescues celebs from loveless marriages'

The BBC One series judge rebranded the famous curse 'a blessing' as he looked on the bright side of contestants splitting after taking part.

Strictly Come Dancing 2023,16-09-2023,Launch Show,Craig Revel Horwood,**STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 20:20 HRS ON SATURDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER 2023**,BBC,Guy Levy
Craig Revel Horwood has rebranded the Strictly curse 'a blessing'. (BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing is well know for its "curse" which has seen plenty of contestants over the years split from their real-life partners after months spent getting close to their dance partners.

But show judge Craig Revel Horwood has rebranded the Strictly curse as a blessing, claiming it rescues people from "loveless marriages".

Revel Horwood told MailOnline he thought 2023 champions and rumoured couple Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola should give romance a chance, saying: "And look, it can end in marriage, it could end in children, we have a lot of Strictly babies…

Strictly Come Dancing 2023,09-12-2023,TX12 - LIVE SHOW,Vito Coppola and Ellie Leach ,BBC,Guy Levy
Craig Revel Horwood thinks Vito Coppola and Ellie Leach should go for it. (BBC)

"And this curse they talk about I think is a blessing. It gets people out of loveless marriages and into something fabulous.

"The whole point of the Strictly curse is the marriage or whoever you're with must have been on the rocks in the first place for anything to occur. Nothing to lose… all to gain."

From Natasha Kaplinsky to Stacey Dooley and a very messy situation involving Seann Walsh and Katya Jones, the Strictly curse has hit many times and with varying results. Here's what some of the show's other stars have had to say about it.

Shirley Ballas thinks it's 'no problem'

Shirley Ballas - Strictly Come Dancing 2023. (BBC)
Shirley Ballas doesn't see the problem. (BBC)

Head judge Shirley Ballas also takes a different view of the so-called curse, claiming it can lead to real love for lucky contestants.

Back in 2018 and in the wake of the uproar over comedian Walsh kissing partner Jones while they were both in relationships, she told Hello! magazine that it wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

"If they are single there is no problem, is there?" she said. "And I don’t think it’s a curse because some people really do find love."

Motsi Mabuse says 'that's why I don't go to parties'

Motsi Mabuse says the show reveals relationship cracks. (BBC)
Motsi Mabuse says the show reveals relationship cracks. (BBC)

Her fellow judge Motsi Mabuse shared that her take on the curse was that there must be underlying problems in a relationship anyway for it to strike.

In 2019, asked by The Sun about the curse she said: "Yeah, I did hear that it’s a thing here. People say it’s a curse but I think you have to be open to it for it to happen and that something must have been wrong [in a relationship] beforehand as well.

"But you know, if you work in this sort of world, adult things happen. Everyone goes for a drink and, whoops-a-daisy! That’s why I don’t go to parties!"

Claudia Winkleman keeps the dancefloor's secrets

Claudia Winkleman claims ignorance of the curse's victims. (BBC)
Claudia Winkleman claims ignorance of the curse's victims. (BBC)

Show host Claudia Winkleman might look like she's on close confidante terms with the contestants each series, but in 2016 she told the Daily Mail that she was always the last to know about relationships blossoming on the show.

Winkleman claimed: "It is very intimate to dance! The celebrity and pro develop a fascinating and incredibly close bond. But I never know anything [about their relationships]. I find out four years later."

What the Strictly pro dancers think of the curse

Charlotte Hawkins & Brendan Cole danced a wedding-themed jive (BBC)
Brendan Cole danced a wedding-themed jive with Charlotte Hawkins. (BBC)

Understandably, many of Strictly's pro dancer cast stay tight-lipped about their thoughts on the curse while starring in the show, but some have shared their opinions since leaving.

Former Strictly pro Ian Waite told The Sun in 2018: "I think what is difficult is the celebs aren’t used to someone dancing so closely to them and touching each others bodies in a way you may not even touch your partner for 10 to 12 hours every day.

"It is very unusual but people do fall for each other, for the professionals point of view we are used to it as dancing intimately is part of our job."

Brendan Cole, who was one of the first dancers to be rumoured to have been involved in the curse with series one winner Natasha Kaplinsky, has also been open on his opinions about why some couples fall for each other.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Karen Hauer at the Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Launch at BBC Broadcasting House. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Karen Hauer was previously married to Strictly pro Kevin Clifton. (LightRocket via Getty Images)

He and Kaplinsky have always denied rumours about them and during the 2023 series, he said: "If you think about any other kind of relationship outside of Strictly, two people meet each other, they fall in love, they support each other, they give each other strength in the good times and the bad times.

"That's the kind of partnership that you can create on Strictly because it is so intense for such an intensive period of time."

Karen Hauer is still on the show, but saw her ex-husband Kevin Clifton get together with his celebrity partner Stacey Dooley after their split - much to the annoyance of Dooley's ex-boyfriend.

Hauer commented in 2020: "If you think about it, the dancefloor is where people used to meet future husbands before the world of Tinder.

"Yes there is the Strictly curse as people call it, but it’s a beautiful thing. There is so much more than just dancing with someone."

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing