Strictly’s Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec announce baby news
Strictly Come Dancing stars Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec have announced they are expecting their first child together.
The married couple said they discovered Manrara, 39, was pregnant in early December just as they were about to start IVF treatment, and the baby is due in late summer.
The professional dancers met in 2010 when performing in the live dance show Burn The Floor, and they tied the knot in 2017.
Manrara, who quit her role as a professional dancer two years ago so they could try for a baby, told Hello! magazine: “For the past couple of years we hadn’t been using protection but nothing was happening, so we thought IVF was the next best thing for us to do.
“I turn 40 later this year and the NHS offers really good services to women under 40.
“The doctor said that as soon as I got my period we would start injections, but my period never came.
“I know that IVF can be really strenuous on a woman’s body and there is no guarantee it will work, so to know that this little miracle just came from a wonderful night we had together is amazing.
“I think the baby decided to make mum and dad panic a bit before saying, ‘Ok, fine, I’m coming up now.'”
Manrara recalled how she phoned her doctor before telling her husband the news, but afterwards she showed Skorjanec, 33, the positive pregnancy test and he cried.
He said: “I was beside myself. I feel like I’ve been thinking and dreaming about that moment for so long.
“We were preparing for IVF mentally and physically and then it was just a relief to finally have that positive test.
“I have so much respect for any parent that goes through IVF, not just for what it puts them through physically but mentally too.”
The couple starred alongside each other on Strictly Come Dancing for many years before Manrara stepped down in 2021 to become a co-host of the spin-off show It Takes Two.
Last year, Skorjanec announced he was also leaving the BBC dance competition after nine years on the show.
The couple also shared the news on Instagram with a photo of Manrara holding her bump while Skorjanec hugs her from behind.
Former Strictly Come Dancing colleagues were among those to offer their congratulations, including Oti Mabuse and Giovanni Pernice.
Professional dancer Dianne Buswell commented: “Yayyyyyyyyyyyy so excited for you,” and presenter Stacey Dooley said: “Wheeeeyyyyyyy!”