Strictly professionals Neil and Katya Jones announce split

Neil and Katya Jones split

Neil and Katya Jones have announced their separation in an official statement.

They celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary earlier this month, and have been together for 11 years.

Neil and Katya have not blamed Seann Walsh for their split, but indicated their marriage had become more a friendship than a romance.

The Strictly Come Dancing professionals were the focus of national headlines following a scandal on the dance show in 2018 involving comedian Walsh.

Russian choreographer Katya was pictured sharing a kiss with her then dance partner on a night out during the last series of Strictly.

The incident led to the pair performing a "dance of shame" on the show, as the media scrutinised another instance of the so-called Strictly curse.

Neil and Katya remained together following the scandal, and have said the well-publicised incident was not the cause of their split.

In an official statement released today, the couple said their relationship had mellowed into a friendship.

The dancers themselves have thanked fans for their supports, and expressed how proud they are of their shared achievements.

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Neil Jones and Katya Jones during the Pride Of Britain Awards 2018, in partnership with TSB, honouring the nation's unsung heroes and recognising the amazing achievements of ordinary people, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Neil and Katya Jones leave the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool after this weekend's Strictly Come Dancing show. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12: Neil Jones (L) and Katya Jones attend the press night performance of "Cirque du Soleil: Amaluna" on January 12, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 10: (L-R) Neil Jones and Katya Jones attend the European premiere of "xXx": Return of Xander Cage' on January 10, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 20: Neil Jones (L) and Katya Jones attend the press night performance of "Tanguera" at Sadler's Wells Theatre on July 20, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 04: Neil Jones (2nd L) and Katya Jones (2nd R) attend the opening night of "42nd Street" at Theatre Royal on April 4, 2017 in London, England. The opening night is a fundraising event for the East Anglia Children's Hospice (EACH) of which the Duchess of Cambridge is Patron. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Neil Jones and Katya Jones at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2017 at Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images)
Katya Jones and her husband Neil Jones attending the launch of the Natural History Museum's ice rink in London. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: Dancers Katya Jones and Neil Jones arriving at The National Lottery Awards 2017 at The London Studios on September 18, 2017 in London, England. The Awards celebrate the UK's favourite Lottery-funded projects and the show is to be broadcast on BBC One on September 27, 2017. (Photo by Claire Greenway/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Neil Jones and Katya Jones attend the 'Strictly Come Dancing 2017' red carpet launch at Broadcasting House on August 28, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 30: Neil Jones, Katya Jones and Joseph McFadden attend the Pride Of Britain Awards at Grosvenor House, on October 30, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Neil and Katya Jones attend the Christmas with the Stars annual concert, in aid of blood cancer research charity Bloodwise, at the Royal Albert Hall in London. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 18: Katya Jones and Neil Jones attend the 'Strictly Come Dancing' Live! photocall at Arena Birmingham, on January 18, 2018 in Birmingham, England. Ahead of the opening on 19th January 2018, touring the United Kingdom until 11th February 2018. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 18: (L-R) Neil Jones, Gemma Atkinson, Alijaz Skorjanec, Chloe Hewitt, AJ Pritchard, Janette Manrara, Amy Dowden, Giovanni Pernice, Debbie McGee, Ore Oduba, Joe McFadden, Katya Jones, Alexandra Burke, Gorka Marquez, Oti Mabuse, Jonnie Peacock, Susan Calman, Kevin Clifton, Nadia Bychkova, Davood Ghadami and Dianne Buswell attend the 'Strictly Come Dancing' Live! photocall at Arena Birmingham, on January 18, 2018 in Birmingham, England. Ahead of the opening on 19th January 2018, touring the United Kingdom until 11th February 2018. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 13: Katya Jones (L) and Neil Jones attend the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards at The Royal Festival Hall on May 13, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 13: (L-R) Amy Dowden, Kevin Clifton, Karen Clifton, Katya Jones and Neil Jones attend the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards at The Royal Festival Hall on May 13, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27: Neil Jones (L) and Katya Jones attend the red carpet launch for 'Strictly Come Dancing 2018' at Old Broadcasting House on August 27, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Neil Jones and Katya Jones attend the Pride of Britain Awards 2018 at The Grosvenor House Hotel on October 29, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22: Neil Jones (L) and Katya Jones attend the National Television Awards held at The O2 Arena on January 22, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Neil Jones and Katya Jones attending the premiere of Cirque du Soleil's Totem, in support of the Sentebale charity, held at the Royal Albert Hall, London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 23: Neil Jones and Katya attends the opening night of "Notre Dame de Paris" at London Coliseum on January 23, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 23: Neil Jones (L) and Katya Jones attend the press night after party for "Notre Dame De Paris" in the Sky Bar at the London Coliseum on January 23, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Neil Jones, Katya Jones, attend Heartbeat of Home London premiere at the London Palladium, Argyll St, London, (Photo credit should read Terry Scott / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
RICHMOND, ENGLAND - APRIL 09: Neil Jones, Joseph McFadden, Katya Jones, Kate Silverton and Gemma Outen attend the press night after party for "The House On Cold Hill" at the Richmond Theatre on April 9, 2019 in Richmond, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/01/23: Neil and Katya Jones are seen attending the opening night of 'Notre Dame de Paris' at the London Coliseum in London. (Photo by Gary Mitchell/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Neil Jones, Katya Jones, Shoot for Pink, Celebrity charity netball match at the Copper Box Olympic Park Stratford London. (Photo credit should read Terry Scott / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - MAY 02: Katya Jones and Neil Jones attend the Strictly Come Dancing: The Professionals photocall at Elstree Studios on May 02, 2019 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - MAY 02: Neil Jones and Katya Jones during the Strictly Come Dancing: The Professionals photocall at Elstree Studios on May 02, 2019 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Neil Jones (left) and Katya Jones (right) attending the Strictly Come Dancing Professionals UK Tour at Elstree Studios, London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
Nadiya Bychkova, Dianne Buswell, AJ Pritchard, Neil Jones, Pasha Kovalev, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Karen Clifton, Katya Jones and Oti Mabuse attending the Strictly Come Dancing Professionals UK Tour at Elstree Studios, London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 20: Neil Jones and Katya Jones attend their press night after party for "Somnium: A Dancer's Dream" at Sadler's Wells Theatre on June 20, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
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In a joint statement they said: "As our fans and loyal supporters you are really important to us and so we wanted to let you know some news.

"After 11 years, we have made the mutual decision to separate.

"We will always love each other, just in a different way as friends. This will never change what a great team we make and we are really proud of everything we have achieved together.

"Our shared love of dance means we will keep working and dancing together as well as exploring individual projects. No matter what we do we will always support and respect each other.

"We wish one another every happiness and we will remain the best of friends. We are really looking forward to getting back to the ballroom and can't wait to keep on dancing.

"Lots of love from us both."

A spokeswoman for the pair clarified that their decision to part was not influenced by the controversy surrounding Walsh which made front-page news.

Stating that the decision was made recently, a spokeswoman said: "It would be incorrect and unfair to attribute their separation to one isolated incident.

"Many people make such a decision to separate when they realise that their relationship has become more of a friendship.

"They remain the very best of friends and will continue to dance together."

The dancers added that their professional lives and their careers on Strictly would not be impacted by the split.

She said: "They're incredible close, they are still dance partners, will be dancing together and will work on joint projects together as well as being part of the Strictly team and will continue to give each other advice and support in any individual projects."

Speaking in March 2019, the couple told Lorraine Kelly that they had moved on from the incident.

Neil said regarding the public and media attention surrounding the kiss: "For me, I felt they overreacted."

Katya said: "We're over it, I think everyone else is over it, let's just move on."

In August 2019, the pair posted on their social media accounts celebrating six years of marriage.

Neil said he was still "jumping with joy".

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