Rumours had been swirling that this would be the year viewers would see him paired up…

Strictly Come Dancing fans have been dealt a blow just weeks’ ahead of the 2018 series, after discovering one of their favourite dancers won’t be paired up with a celebrity.

Neil Jones – the husband of Katya Jones, who won the 2017 series with her celeb partner Joe McFadden – has revealed that for the third year in a row, he won’t be partnered with a celebrity.

Sharing the news in a video on Instagram, Neil said, “Hi guys. So we have had a fantastic few weeks of rehearsals and this week we finally met up with all of the celebrities– and I just wanted to say one thing – you are in for a treat!

“Now, there have been a few rumours swirling around whether or not I will have a partner this year on Strictly, and I just wanted to let you know what was going on.”

Neil added, “Unfortunately, I won’t be paired up this series, but don’t worry because I will still be there every week in all the group numbers, in the music acts, and on It Takes Two – which I love!”

“I am really happy to be part of such a great show. And I just wanted to say to everyone thank you so much for all your kind words and your support. I can’t wait for it all to start.”

It’s that time of the year again when we all get to meet the new celebrity lineup and I have to say I’ve been lucky in the past to meet 2 fantastic groups of people who I could honestly call my friends and I’m sure it won’t be any different this year. . . . Plus on another note I have heard many people talking about certain celebs being professional dancers but and this is a big but no one has danced latin or Ballroom and trust me it doesn’t matter how much experience you have had even the best dancers struggle to relate to latin and Ballroom. . . Which celeb are you excited about the most?

A post shared by Neil Jones (@mr_njonesofficial) on

Fans of the dancer soon expressed their disappointment, with one commenting, ‘Gutted for you. I feel miffed on your behalf. What a gent u r. Sending a (hug) xx”

Another said, “Nooooooo!! That’s so not good news!! You’re the best male pro dancer on the show so should definitely be partnered up 😔. Oh well we’ll just have to wait until next year now!!”

And a third added, “Feel really disappointed for you, you totally deserve a partner. You are an amazing dancer and bring such a great personality to the show! 🤞🏻 crossing fingers for next year!”

It was Strictly announcer Alan Dedicoat who first started talk of Neil having a more prominent role on the show.

Speaking to The Sun earlier this month, he confirmed that Neil would be partnered with a celeb and that he was “interested to see how he does”.