Strictly Come Dancing star hints at secret victims of show’s ‘curse’


The Strictly curse has struck a few times… (Picture: PA)

Strictly Come Dancing pro Karen Hauer has hinted that there might be some victims of the so-called ‘Strictly curse’ that viewers don’t know about.

The dancer – who is the longest-serving professional on the BBC show – has seen plenty of celebs and fellow pros come and go over the years, having been a regular fixture on our TV screens since 2012.

Of course, it’s no secret that every once in a while, Strictly causes a stir in the romance department and has led to the demise of relationships when contestants spend 24/7 getting cosy with their partners.

Famous examples include Seann Walsh and Katya Jones, who everyone remembers shared a steamy snog back in 2018, leading to his breakup with his girlfriend, and Katya’s eventual divorce from Neil Jones.

However, according to Karen, there could be other couples who have split around the time of a Strictly stint after some bedroom tango antics.



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Speaking to new! magazine, she said of the curse: ‘I’ve seen things. I’m not gonna talk about them. It exists. It’s there.

Karen Hauer has hinted that there are more victims we don’t know about (Picture: PA)

‘Whoever wants to go and play, that’s there on them.’

The Venezuelan star, 42, acknowledged that celebs and their partners spend hours each week ‘up close and personal’ together during training.

But, she stated emphatically that she has never gone ‘there’ out of respect for the job she loves and the people she works with.

She isn’t the only Strictly figure to have commented on the curse.

A couple of years ago, Strictly co-presenter Claudia Winkleman shared her views, telling Digital Spy: ‘I understand, it’s very intense.

‘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.’

She added: ‘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.’

Seann Walsh and Katya Jones famously snogged in 2018 (Picture: PA)

Seann and Katya remain the most famous example of the curse, with the fallout of their scandalous kiss extremely messy, particularly for Seann’s girlfriend at the time, Rebecca Humphries.

After pictures of their intimate moment emerged, Katya shared a statement, writing: ‘I’m so sorry about any offence or hurt I may have caused with my actions.

‘I wasn’t thinking and it was a one-off mistake after some drinks. I love my husband and we are very happy together, this is not a reflection on our relationship.’

In August 2019, she and Neil announced their separation after 11 years together.

As for other Strictly couples, Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton won Strictly together in 2018.

By April of the following year, they had confirmed they were an item and later welcomed a child together.

Pro Dianne Buswell started dating her celeb partner Joe Sugg during the show (Picture: PA Wire/PA Images)
Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton won Strictly in 2018 together (Picture: PA)

However, while Stacey was competing in Strictly, she had been in a relationship with personal trainer Sam Tucknott.

Kevin, on the other hand, was previously married to fellow Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Karen, announcing their split in March 2018 after three years of marriage.

Stacey has always denied that she and Kevin became romantically involved while taking part in the competition, stating that everything happened ‘later down the line’.

It’s not all scandal and drama, though, as Strictly has also been known to give singletons their happily ever after.

After ending Strictly as runners-up in 2018, Joe Sugg and Dianne Buswell got together following much speculation about the state of their relationship.

In November 2013, Countdown star Rachel Riley started dating her Strictly dance partner Pasha Kovalev. They married in 2019 and have two daughters together.

As for the pros, Kai Widdrington and Nadiya Bychkova went public with their romance in 2022, shocking the nation after viewers were convinced he was romancing 2021 celeb partner AJ Odudu.

John Whaite ‘fell in love’ with his partner, Johannes Radebe (Picture: PA)
Longest-serving pro Karen doesn’t get involved (Picture: PA)

That same series, however, sparks were also flying for John Whaite, who eventually revealed that he ended up ‘falling in love’ with Johannes Radebe, with whom he danced as the first male-male partnership.

Nothing was pursued, though, and John is now married to graphic designer Paul Atkins.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to the BBC later this year, with the pro line-up already confirmed and the celebrity cast due to be announced in a matter of weeks.

While the broadcaster is, naturally, remaining tight-lipped on who will be taking part for now, rumours are still swirling.

The likes of Hannah Waddingham and Martin Roberts are all rumoured, as is Chris McCausland, who would be the show’s first-ever blind star.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One and Player this autumn.

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