Seann Walsh says Katya Jones kiss turned his life upside down

Watch: Seann Walsh addresses Strictly kiss in new stand up routine

Seann Walsh has said he is "still sorry" for kissing Strictly Come Dancing partner Katya Jones after it turned his life "upside down".

The 36-year-old comedian was pictured kissing his married professional dance partner when he took part in the show in 2018.

This prompted his actress girlfriend Rebecca Humphries to accuse him on Twitter of being verbally abusive and controlling towards her, sparking a national debate about gaslighting.

Walsh said in his comedy special Kiss: "I was in a relationship, my dance partner Katya was married.

Seann Walsh and Katya Jones were embroiled in controversy during their time on 'Strictly Come Dancing' in 2018. (Credit: BBC)
Seann Walsh said he is still sorry now for kissing Katya Jones during their time on Strictly Come Dancing in 2018. (BBC)

"After training we went for a drink, one thing led to another and we were photographed kissing outside a pub.

"Awful, I know. It's awful - I'm sorry. I'm still sorry now."

Read more: Seann Walsh suffering anxiety and depression since 'Strictly' kiss

The stand-up comic has aired a full comedy special online of a routine based entirely around the events and fall out from the kiss he shared with Jones, after the picture was published on the front page of a tabloid newspaper.

Seann Walsh performs during the Teenage Cancer Trust comedy night, at the Royal Albert Hall, London. (Photo by Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images)
Seann Walsh has turned the scandal of his Strictly kiss with married partner Katya Jones into a comedy show. (Getty Images)

Walsh admitted that he had hoped taking part in the celebrity dance show would be good for his career, but it has been the opposite.

He said: "Only I could go on Strictly Come Dancing and come out ‘the most hated comedian in the country’.”

Seann Walsh's then girlfriend, actress Rebecca Humphries, accused him of gaslighting her. (Getty Images)
Seann Walsh's then girlfriend, actress Rebecca Humphries, accused him of gaslighting her. (Getty Images)

Speaking about the moment he found out the kiss had been made public Walsh recalled: "It was at that exact point that my life would turn upside down - the dream turned into a nightmare."

And he revealed he fled the country after becoming the target of online trolls.

Walsh said: "I was then on the receiving end of thousands of abusive messages online. I did begin to wonder 'Have I done something that wrong?'

Katie Hopkins at a protest against vaccine passports in Trafalgar Square in 2021. (Photo credit should read Matthew Chattle/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Seann Walsh joked that when Katie Hopkins is on your side, you're in trouble. (Getty Images)

"Then.... Katie Hopkins tweeted in my defence. Then I thought, 'Yep, I've f****d up!'"

He added: "I managed to keep Brexit off the front pages for 12 whole days, but I hated it.

"I thought, 'I just had to get out of here,' and I left for America. Just the break I needed."

Seann Walsh with Katya Jones (PA Images)
Seann Walsh was partnered with Katya Jones on the BBC dance show. (PA Images)

Walsh has previously revealed he began suffering vertigo seizures - a form of panic attack - as a result of the attention on him after 'the kiss'.

After the photo emerged Walsh and Jones both apologised publicly but were voted out of the BBC show a week later.

Jones and her husband - Strictly professional dancer Neil Jones - had been married since 2013.

Neil and Katya Jones perform onstage during the BBC Strictly Come Dancing Launch at Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Katya Jones was married to dance partner Neil Jones at the time of the kiss. (Getty Images)

They remained together for 10 months before announcing their separation. They continue to dance together on the BBC show.

Read more: Seann Walsh quits Twitter claiming trolls made last few years 'absolute hell'

Jones became part of Strictly's first same-sex couple in 2020, dancing with boxer Nicola Adams. They were forced to pull out of the competition after Jones tested positive for COVID-19.

Last year she was partnered with Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty and came ninth.

Watch: Strictly's Katya Jones and husband Neil Jones split in 2019