If you’ve heard of Strictly Come Dancing, you’ll most likely have heard about the scandalous ‘Strictly curse’.
The so-called ‘Strictly curse’ rears its ugly head almost every year on the BBC show, breaking apart relationships, either during or shortly after the series draws to a close. There are countless Strictly Come Dancing affairs to report, while other Strictly relationships have broken down as a result of appearing the show.
Strictly co-host Claudia Winkleman has also offered up her thoughts on the curse, acknowledging that the nature of the show can be “intoxicating”.
However, she confessed that she doesn’t believe in a ‘curse’ as such – simply that the intense environment can foster intimate relationships…oo-er!
Speaking to The Sun, she said, “I don’t believe in the curse, but I think lots of people have come in single and they might have met somebody or had a little romance. It’s intoxicating, Strictly, because you’re all part of this extraordinary juggernaut. So I don’t think people fall in love with people, they might just love the experience.”
Legendary former Strictly pro Brendan Cole has also shared his opinion on the ‘curse’, saying that unlike Claudia, he’s actually convinced it’s real thing.
Speaking to Fabulous magazine, the 41-year-old suggested that the curse is now a hard fact to deny, given the amount of make-ups and break-ups the show has seen over the years.
He admitted, “It’s definitely a thing. You can’t deny it after all these years of seeing different people falling in love. It’s a great curse. I love the curse.
“It’s the nature of the beast that if you work closely with somebody, love is going to blossom, and hopefully the people involved are single. Every year you’re guaranteed some smoke somewhere.” Ooh!
2017, Karen and Kevin Clifton
Married couple Kevin and Karen and both pro dancers on the show. But sadly, it seems they haven’t been exempt from the effects of Strictly either.
Reports flew recently that the pair were, allegedly, ‘barely talking’ during the current 2017 series of the show. But the pair put on a united display during the live shows, when Kevin thanked his wife for dealing with him as he admitted he wasn’t the “easiest person” while training for the programme.
However, recently the couple have confirmed their sad split. In an interview on BBC Radio 2, Kevin confessed, “Privately we are not together anymore but professionally we are stronger than ever before.”
He added, “We’re still the best of friends – we still have a lot of love and respect for each other.
“What we’ve found is that since we’ve been honest with each other it’s unlocked our creativity.”
Karen also praised her ex, saying: “We have such strong chemistry and it’s about entertaining and inspiring. At the end of the day it’s about giving back to fans. We’re feeling very positive.”
2016, Louise Redknapp and Jamie Redknapp
Perhaps the latest famous face to be hit by rumours of the Strictly curse is Louise Redknapp, a runner-up in last year’s show. She had been married to former football pro Jamie for 10 years. But rumours dogged the pair since about the state of their relationship following the show.
Louise previously claimed that the Strictly curse wasn’t likely to affect them, saying “We laughed about it.
“After so many years it’ll take more than Strictly and a sparkly leotard to cause problems. Plus, Kevin is married to the hottest dancer on the show!”
But now, of course, the pair have confirmed that they are living separately, after Louise admitted that the show made her realise she no longer wanted to be a “Stepford wife”.
She told The Telegraph, “I became a sort of Stepford Wife, wanting to be perfect at it. It was only when I agreed to do Strictly Come Dancing that I realised I couldn’t just go back to that.”
2016, Joanne Clifton and boyfriend Joseph Edward-Bader
She had a professional high when she won the show in 2016 with Ore Oduba, but Joanne Clifton’s personal relationships appeared to take a bit of a nose-dive shortly after!
Reportedly, the pro dancer split from her long-term boyfriend Joseph Edward-Bader a month ago, with a source telling The Sun: “The relationship broke down and everyone’s a bit in shock.
“She’s taken it really badly and is struggling at the moment.”
2015, Giovanni Pernice and Georgia May Foote
In 2015’s series, arguably the most attractive looking couple caused waves as their relationship heated up on (and off!) screen.
Georgia and Giovanni met when they were paired up on the show, while Georgia was still in a relationship with her ex Corrie co-star Sean Ward, who played Callum Logan.
However, reported dogged the couple of Sean’s alleged jealousy over her decision to do the show, and rumour has it that he even accompanied her to rehearsals in the beginning over paranoia.
Things came to a head during Georgia’s time on Strictly, and the pair split up. Shortly after, Georgia announced that she and Giovanni were dating.
The pretty-looking pair called time on their relationship just a year after competing on the show though, and are now rumoured to be in other relationships – far away from the Strictly Come Dancing romances!
2013, Kristina Rihanoff and Ben Cohen
Perhaps one of the most famous (and scandalous) affairs on the show so far. Ben’s relationship was hit by the Strictly curse soon after the show, when he broke off his marriage to Abby Blayney, who he’d been with for 23 years.
And understandably, Abby was devastated. During divorce proceedings, she was reported as saying, “I’m Ben Cohen’s ex-wife. If it wasn’t for that woman me and Ben would still be married. But so what? I’m moving on.”
READ MORE: Kristina Rihanoff set for ‘secret talks’ as relationship with Ben Cohen comes under strain!
Before, she also admitted the heartbreak of being cheated on, saying “He’s done the dirty on me and I want people to know. My husband, who I was with for 23 years, unconditionally loved and was completely loyal to, has left me for a f*****g Russian dancer.”
Ben and Kristina got together shortly after they finished competing in the show, and have recently welcomed a baby daughter, Milena.
2009, Kristina Rihanoff and Joe Calzaghe
But it wasn’t the first time Kristina had started a relationship with a taken man on the show. In 2009, she and boxer Joe got close, and he split up with his girlfriend Jo-Emma Larvin soon after beginning the competition. However, the couple split in 2013, shortly before she met Ben.
2013, Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev
The Countdown star is famous for her intellect. But it was her moves on the dance-floor that won her a new boyfriend, in the form of one of the most popular dancers on the show, Pasha.
Before entering the dancing competition in 2013, Rachel was happily married to millionaire Jamie Gilbert, who she’d been with for 15 months. The pair met at Oxford University, and married in 2012.
Throughout the show, the couple denied rumours of anything going on. But shortly after the show, in 2014, the pair announced they were together. They’ve been with each other ever since, and are even rumoured to have moved in together.
Speaking about the so-called curse, Rachel admitted that the show can have an effect on relationships. She said, “I don’t think there’s a Strictly curse, but it does serve as a magnifying glass that shows up pre-existing fault lines. Jamie and I had been with one another since I was 19, and we are still good friends, it was all amicable and he’s been brilliant.”
2007, Matt Di Angelo and Flavia Cacace
Professional dancer Flavia ended her current relationship after meeting Matt – former Eastenders star – while partnered together on the show in 2007.
They were together for three years, until Flavia ended the relationship to date someone else…
2010, Jimi Mistry and Flavia Cacace
…Her 2010 partner on the show Jimi Mistry, no less! Just weeks after ending her relationship with Matt, Jimi and Flavia announced they were together.
But don’t panic, because it all worked out for the best in the end. Jimi and Flavia are now married, and have been since 2013. So maybe a Strictly blessing-in-disguise is perhaps a better term?!
2010, Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev
The couple got together whilst on the show in 2010. But sadly the Strictly curse worked it’s magic yet again. Things clearly weren’t set to last between the couple, who split in 2013.
2009, Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna
Happily, this relationship started off a bit better than most of the others! The actress and dancer were both single when they were on the show, and got together during their time on it.
But sadly, the curse hit the pair, and they split a year later. Is no one safe?!
2004, Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole
Ah, the first couple touched by the curse of Strictly. The pair waltzed their way to victory in the very first series of the show. But they were hounded by rumours of their romance throughout the entire competition.
The pair have never actually confirmed their romance. Natasha was single at the time. But Brendan did suffer a split with his fiancé – fellow professional dancer Camilla Dallerup, because of the supposed affair. Brendan and Camilla had been together for eight years.
In 2015, Camilla told the Daily Star, “to this day I have no idea whether it was her fame and celebrity that swept him away or if he really did feel a strong connection with her. I’m guessing it was probably a bit of both. It felt as if the fact that we’d just got engaged meant nothing to either of them.
“What was really hurtful was not just that Brendan appeared to have forgotten he was engaged, the entire nation seem to have forgotten he was engaged.”