'Strictly' curse: Louise Redknapp confesses doing show was catalyst for her divorce
Louise Redknapp has said she would not have got divorced if she had not appeared on Strictly Come Dancing.
The Naked singer was a finalist on Strictly in 2016 with professional partner Kevin Clifton and split from sports presenter Jamie Redknapp in 2017 after 19 years of marriage – and now admits she regrets taking part in the BBC dance show.
Redknapp, 46, writes in her new autobiography You’ve Got This: And Other Things I Wish I Had Known: "If I'd done the show four years earlier, this wouldn't have happened. I wouldn't have walked away from my marriage."
Read more: Louise Redknapp 'shocked' at judgement amid Jamie split
The former Eternal singer – who is mother to 16-year-old Charley and 12-year-old Beau – said she would have been "too scared" to leave former footballer Jamie if she hadn't taken part in Strictly, and that doing the show set her on "a new path" and proved to her that she "could find work again".
Redknapp continued: "I still wish I'd done things differently because I feel like I hurt a lot of people and I'll always be sorry for that.
"I felt like certain people had my back, and, in hindsight this wasn't really the case.
"I was so scared about going back to normal life and losing what I'd achieved on the show."
Watch: Louise Redknapp contemplated suicide amid divorce
The singer said she now regrets doing Strictly, and if she could go back in time she would turn it down.
She said it "wasn't worth putting anyone I loved or love through the heartache".
Over its 18 years on TV, Strictly Come Dancing has become synonymous with the "Strictly Curse", which has seen many of the celebrities who take part in the show suffer breakdowns in their relationships shortly afterwards.
Newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky won the very first series in 2004 with professional partner Brendan Cole – who split from his fiancee Camilla Dallerup shortly afterwards.
Boxer Joe Calzaghe left his girlfriend of five years Jo-Emma Larvin just one week into training for Strictly with partner Kristina Rihanoff.
They dated for four years until Rihanoff moved on with her next Strictly partner, rugby player Ben Cohen – who split from his wife of 11 years.
Read more: Ranvir Singh dismisses rumours of romance with Strictly dance partner Giovanni Pernice
Married professional dancers Karen and Kevin Clifton announced they were splitting in 2018.
Kevin went on to win the dance show that year with TV presenter Stacey Dooley – who split from her boyfriend of three years shortly afterwards and now lives with Kevin.
In 2019 professional dancers Katya and Neil Jones announced their divorce after Katya was photographed kissing comedian dance partner Seann Walsh – who was also in a relationship – during the previous series.
Other celebrities who have found love with their dance partners include Countdown's Rachel Riley with Pasha Kovalev, EastEnders' Matt Di Angelo with Flavia Cacace and Hollyoaks star Gemma Atkinson with Gorka Márquez.
Watch: Louise Redknapp admits to lockdown struggles