Strictly Come Dancing: All the victims to the show's romance curse

We look at the couples who became more than just dance partners on BBC show Strictly Come Dancing.

With days, weeks and months of getting up close and personal in the Strictly Come Dancing training room, it’s hardly surprising that so many celebrities and professional dancers end up sharing more than just a Tango.

Here are 15 people who have fallen victim to the infamous 'Strictly Curse' down the years.

[Read more: All you need to know about Strictly 2018]

1. Gemma Atkinson

Gemma Atkinson on Strictly

The Emmerdale and Hollyoaks soap star caused a stir in the 2017 series by starting a relationship with a pro dancer who she wasn't partnered with.

Atkinson and Gorka Marquez apparently struck up a relationship in early training, with some speculating that it could distract from their work with show partners Aljaz Skorjanec and Alexandra Burke - although critics needn't have worried, as both couples finished as runners-up behind champion Joe McFadden.

[Read more: Who are the Strictly celebs for 2018?]

Gemma and Gorka are still together. She told the Sunday People: “With Gorka, I had six months of getting to know him as a friend, that’s what is different.

“I’ve never fallen for a friend before. For us it was a Strictly blessing. We weren’t dancing together and we were both single. No one got hurt or trampled on, no one left anybody for anybody else so it was literally a Strictly blessing for me and Gorks.”

2. Louise Redknapp

Louise Redknapp on Strictly

Louise and Jamie Redknapp had always seemed like a rock solid couple, but following her stint in the ballroom they divorced after 19 years of marriage.

The former Eternal singer announced that appearing in Strictly had given her the confidence to perform again, whilst Jamie is now said to be dating model Julia Restoin Roitfeld.

3. Daisy Lowe

Daisy Lowe on Strictly

Daisy Lowe fell victim to the Strictly curse in 2016 after splitting with boyfriend Bradley 'Frankie' Wade.

The couple's short-lived relationship couldn't cope with the strain of her training schedule and they split up during her time on the show.

[Read more: Who are the Strictly 2018 pro dancers?]

4. Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice

Giovanni and Georgia May Foote

Coronation Street actress Georgia May Foote was dating fellow Corrie star Sean Ward when she was partnered with Giovanni Pernice in the 2015 series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Shortly afterwards, the pair went public with their relationship posting plenty of loved-up pictures online. However, just before the start of Strictly 2016, Georgia and Giovanni decided to call it quits.

5. Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev

Kara and Artem

Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev were one of Strictly’s hottest pairings when they were put together in 2010. Their chemistry – especially when lifting the Glitterball trophy as champions – was palpable.

They quickly confirmed a romance after the end of the show and were together for four years until splitting in 2014, partly due to Artem’s visa problems that had kept the pair apart.

6. Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna

Former Hollyoaks actress Ali Bastian and Strictly professional Brian Fortuna began dating when they were partnered together on the show in 2009.

However, the pair split up a year later when their romance fizzled out.

7. Matt Di Angelo and Flavia Cacace

Flavia Cacace

This was one of the messiest Strictly romances, and it involved EastEnders actor Matt Di Angelo and Flavia Cacace in 2007.

When the couple were partnered together, Flavia had been dating fellow professional Vincent Simone for 11 years. However, she soon left him for Matt, who was only 19 years old at the time.

Speaking about the romance years later, Matt said: “It was a pretty crazy time. It was front page news. The funny thing was the story did not start off as true, but the more you read it, the more you started to believe it and actually act on it.”

The story got even more complicated when Flavia left Matt in 2010 for her new celebrity partner, Jimi Mistry…

[Strictly curse sends celebs mad, says Flavia Cacace]

8. Jimi Mistry and Flavia Cacace

Weeks after announcing that she had broken up with Matt Di Angelo, Flavia Cacace revealed that she was dating former Coronation Street actor and new celebrity dance partner Jimi Mistry in 2010.

The pair's romance has been one of Strictly's more enduring love stories, and they wed in December 2013.

9. Joe Calzaghe and Kristina Rihanoff

Kristina and Joe

It didn’t take boxer Joe Calzaghe long to fall for Kristina Rihanoff’s charms. Only a week into his training on the show in 2009, he split up with his girlfriend of five years Jo Emma Larvin.

The pair were together for an impressive four years, but broke up in 2013 after Kristina revealed that the couple wanted different things. She said: “He wanted a girlfriend at home with his family in Wales, but he didn't want to get married or have children and I didn't want to give up that dream. And I won't live a lie, because life is too short.”

10. Ben Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff

Ben Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff caused more than a bit of commotion when they competed together on Strictly Come Dancing.

They got together after the series – and are still together now – but Kristina was adamant that she hadn’t played a part in his break-up from his wife.

“I wasn’t involved in the breaking up of his marriage,” she said in an interview.

[Read more: Louis Smith tips Ashley Roberts for the final]

However, Ben’s ex-wife Abby, who he has twin daughters with, had a different story. “My husband, who I was with for 23 years, unconditionally loved and was completely loyal to in every respect, has left me for a f***ing Russian dancer,” she said.

“He's done the dirty on me. I'm just trying to recover from what has been the most horrific time of my life.”

Meanwhile, Ben and Kristina welcomed their first child together, a daughter, in 2016.

11. Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole

Neither Natasha Kaplinsky nor Brendan Cole has ever confirmed that anything more than dancing happened between them when they were partnered during the first series of Strictly Come Dancing.

They might have won the show, but they were also plagued with romance rumours. After dancing together, Brendan dumped his then-fiancée and Strictly professional Camilla Dallerup while Natasha broke up with long-term partner Mike Barnard.

12. Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev

Pasha Kovalev and Rachel Riley

The Countdown presenter is still adamant that nothing romantic happened between her and her dance partner while they were competing on Strictly Come Dancing. When they were partnered in the 2014 series of the show, Rachel was married to husband Jamie Gilbert.

She announced that her 16-month marriage – and nine-year relationship – was over soon after the series ended and confirmed that she and Pasha Kovalev were an item. They're still together four years on.

13. Susanna Reid

Former BBC Breakfast host Susanna Reid was partnered with Kevin Clifton on the series in 2013, and although nothing happened between the pair, she still succumbed to the curse of Strictly.

After being in a relationship with Dominic Cotton for 15 years, Reid announced that the couple had split up shortly after Strictly Come Dancing had ended.

14. Caroline Flack

Caroline Flack had been dating boyfriend Jack Street for a year and a half when she started Strictly Come Dancing. However, the pair separated towards the end of the series in 2014.

A spokesperson for the star said that there was no one else involved and that their relationship “came to a natural end”.

[How to get tickets for Strictly Come Dancing]

15. Helen George

The Call the Midwife actress, 31, revealed that she was splitting up with her husband of three years, Oliver Boot, as she was heading into Strictly Come Dancing in 2015.

Despite not being linked to any of the Strictly professional dancers or fellow celebrities, a spokesperson for the actress said at the time: “I can confirm that Helen separated from her husband some time ago".

[Read more: Strictly Come Dancing's biggest ever controversies]

Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday, September 8 at 7.35pm on BBC One.

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