Each year the rumour mill starts churning with speculation as to which celebrity star will be hit by Strictly Come Dancing’s infamous ‘curse’.
Since the show launched in 2004, several showbiz relationships have ended following an appearance by one half on the BBC show – and it’s not just the celebrity types who fall foul.
Many a pro-dancer romance has also crumbled under the glare of the glitterball.
From alleged affairs to illicit snogs and the traumatic divorce that left one star needing therapy, here’s a look at the pros whose own relationships have been destroyed during the show’s 16-year history…
Neil and Katya Jones
When Katya was spotted copping off with her celebrity partner Seann Walsh in 2018, at first it looked like her marriage to fellow pro Neil would survive.
She immediately apologised to her husband, insisting the ‘drunken mistake’ was ‘no reflection’ of their marriage and life carried on.
They even turned their love story into a stage show titled Somnium: A Dancer’s Dream.
But just eight months after snog gate, they told devastated fans that they’d called it quits, explaining that their 11-year relationship had become more of a friendship.
“We will always love each other, just in a different way as friends,” they insisted in a joint statement.
“We wish one another every happiness and we will remain the best of friends.”
Neil has since moved on with Columbian dancer Luisa Eusse, 23 – a romance Katya blessed with her approval by liking a loved-up picture of the pair on Instagram.
Karen and Kevin Clifton
Karen and Kevin joined the show as a couple in 2012 before tying the knot in July 2015.
But rumours of discord began to circulate in 2016 after Kevin was partnered with singer Louise Redknapp.
There was speculation that Kevin’s close friendship with Louise Redknapp, had left Karen feeling concerned. Both Louise and Kevin have always denied any romantic involvement.
The following year, numerous reports suggested Karen and Kevin’s marriage had become ‘strained’ by their hectic schedules, and at the end of the 2017 series, Kevin publicly thanked his wife for ‘putting up with me’.
“When ‘Strictly’ is on I’m not the easiest person to live with, I go a bit mad,” he said in his exit speech.
The following March they confirmed their split, with Karen admitting the divorce took a huge toll on her mental health.
“It has taken me a lot of therapy and life coaching to get through this. I have found it really difficult,” she told the Daily Mail.
“It was an intense time that prompted anxiety. I found the split very hard to deal with and I panicked.”
Kevin has since moved on with his 2018 celeb partner Stacey Dooley, while Karen is believed to have recently split from opera singer David Webb.
Brendan Cole and Camilla Dallerup
The Strictly Curse was born during the very first series of Strictly in 2004 when Brendan Cole and fellow pro Camilla ended their engagement amid rumours he and celebrity partner Natasha Kaplinsky had grown close.
Newsreader Natasha and Brendan both denied having an affair, while Camilla – who was paired with antiques expert David Dickinson – described the split as a ‘mini-death’.
Then in 2018 Brendan broke his silence, hinting that he did get involved with Natasha – but only once his marriage was over.
“I’ve never talked about what relationship Natasha and I had on the show. What I did learn is that Strictly is not reality. It’s a television show where emotions are very much heightened,” he told the Daily Mail.
“I didn’t cross any lines with Natasha. I was single. Camilla had ended the relationship very early on in the series so what happened happened after that.
“It was a harrowing time – winning the show as much as my friendship with Natasha. On the other hand it was like, Holy Moses. It can ruin a marriage so easily.”
Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone
They were in a long-term romance when the fifth series of Strictly kicked off in 2007, but split soon after she was partnered with ex EastEnders star, Matt Di Angelo.
Flavia and Matt started dating once Strictly wrapped and stayed together for three years.
Reflecting on the love triangle in 2012, Matt described it as a “pretty crazy time”, while Flavia branded it a “disaster”.
“It all happened in the most atrocious way. My relationship with Matt was really hyped up, which was very painful for Vincent,” she told the Telegraph.
“But, you have to understand, everything in my life had been about dance. I’d lived in a bubble. I had never been to London on my own. I had never been on an aeroplane. I had danced with Vincent since I was 14.
“Suddenly I was on Strictly and I couldn’t believe it. I was dancing on the television and, although I found it frightening, it gave me a knock on the head. I loved the dancing but my personal life was in disarray.”
In 2010 Flavia moved on with – and subsequently married – celeb partner, Coronation Street’s Jimi Mistry.