New 'Strictly' roles for Neil and Katya Jones rumoured following split


It’s been a sad weekend for Strictly Come Dancing pros Neil and Katya Jones, who have announced their split, but at least it looks like their careers are on the up.

Neil is said to be getting his first celebrity partner for this year’s series after dancing as part of the professional troupe since 2016, while Katya is reportedly back in the pro-dancer line-up after questions over her future on the show.

According to The Sun, producers have finally decided to bump Neil, 37, up from the group dances to one of the competing couples - although it’s thought his promotion could come at the expense of Gorka Marquez.

The 28-year-old Strictly favourite, who has just welcomed his first child with former contestant Gemma Atkinson, is said to not be tall enough to be matched with any of this year’s lanky celebrities and will be a reserve instead.

Read more: Neil and Katya Jones announce split

Meanwhile, Katya, 29, was reportedly looking at a series on the reserve bench after last year’s kissgate scandal, when she was pictured kissing her celebrity dance partner Seann Walsh after a late-night rehearsal.

Now, though, the 2017 series champion is said to be back in the top tier of performers as the show signed up eight male celebrities rather than the seven they were expecting.

MAYFAIR, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 18: Seann Walsh and Katya Jones seen leaving a dance studio on October 17, 2018 in Mayfair, London.  PHOTOGRAPH BY Eagle Lee / Barcroft Images (Photo credit should read PALACE LEE / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Seann Walsh and Katya Jones seen leaving a dance studio on October 17, 2018 in Mayfair, London. (PALACE LEE / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

So far, no pro dancer roles or couples have been announced outside of the overall pro performer troupe being confirmed, and a BBC spokesperson has commented that the pairings will be announced “in due course”.

Read more: Strictly dancers send messages of love to Neil and Katya Jones

The Joneses confirmed their split on social media over the weekend, 10 months on from Katya’s kiss with Walsh.

A joint statement read: "Hi everyone. As our fans and loyal supporters you are really important to us and so we wanted to let you know some news. After 11 years we have made the mutual decision to separate.

"We will always love each other, just in a different way as friends.

"This will never change what a great team we make and we are really proud of everything we have achieved together.

"Our shared love of dance means we will keep working and dancing together as well as exploring individual projects. No matter what we do we will always support and respect each other.

Read more: Strictly’s Jamie Laing studied dance at uni

"We wish one another every happiness and we will remain the best of friends.

"We are really looking forward to getting back to the ballroom and can't wait to keep on dancing. Lots of love from us both xx."

Neil had stood by his wife after photos of the kiss emerged, although Walsh’s girlfriend Rebecca Humphries quickly split with him and shared an open letter about his poor behaviour during their relationship.