Strictly Come Dancing is celebrating its new series and we can date the Strictly curse back to the very beginning.

Sceptic or believer, fans of the hit BBC dancing show have seen the drama unfold with every dance move year after year.

Before rumours of the class of 2023 fly about the ballroom, let's look back on the curse's history and answer those burning questions.

What is the Strictly Curse?

The so-called curse comes from intense training schedules and lots of one-on-one time between teachers and students. 

Relationships outside the Strictly spotlight can suffer and all those racy dance moves don't help.

Since the series began in 2004, dozens of couples, professionals and even previous winners have become victims of the curse.

Is the Strictly Curse real?

The truth is, it depends on who you ask.

When It Takes Two host and former professional dancer Janette Manrara spoke to The Sunday Mirror’s Notebook magazine, she said: “The curse has never been an issue for us. If anything, Strictly was a blessing, as it’s the reason we were able to stay together.

“A couple of years in, we got engaged; a couple of years later, we got married.”

Manrara is married to former Strictly pro Aljaž Skorjanec who announced he was leaving the programme in March after 9 years.

Presenter Claudia Winkleman has also repeatedly shot down its existence as nothing more than an "intoxicating experience".

Which celebrities have fallen victim to the Strictly curse?


Olympian Adam Peaty, who competed in the 2021 series, announced this summer that he and his girlfriend Eirianedd Munro had split after three years together.

The former couple shares their two-year-old son George and that would continue to make him a priority despite going their separate ways. 

The news comes after rumours spread around Adam's chemistry with his Strictly pro partner Katya Jones last year.

The pair were reportedly seen nearly kissing on the dancefloor during one of their routines by fans but the pair have never confirmed a relationship.


Neil and Katya Jones

The Strictly pros were together for eleven years before they announced their split in 2019.

Before the 2019 series aired, the couple released a statement announcing their separation.

This came after Katya was spotted making out with her celebrity partner, comedian Sean Walsh during the 2018 series.


Dianne Buswell and Joe Sugg

Youtuber Joe Sugg was partnered with Dianne Buswell during the 2018 series of Strictly. 

The Strictly professional had been dating Emmerdale actor Anthony Quinlan throughout the series but broke up as a result of conflicting schedules.

Yet the day after the Strictly finale aired, Dianne and Joe announced that they were dating.

Since then, the couple have grown from strength to strength and even moved in together in February 2021.

Seann Walsh and Katya Jones

The kiss between Seann Walsh and Katya Jones is one of Strictly's most talked about scandals.

The comedian was caught kissing his dance partner Katya despite them both being in separate relationships.

Seann was dating actress Rebecca Humphries at the time while Katya Jones had been married for six years to fellow Strictly pro Neil Jones.

News and Star: former Strictly Come Dancing winners Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley. Credit: PAformer Strictly Come Dancing winners Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley. Credit: PA

Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton

TV presenter Stacey Dooley was partnered with Strictly professional Kevin Clifton during the 2018 series. 

The journalist was in a long-term relationship when she entered the series but the pair broke up by the finale.

Stacey and Kevin began dating after the show concluded and they are now expecting a child together.

Kevin Clifton and Karen Hauer

In March 2018, the married Strictly pros announced their split after months of rumours.

The marriage had reportedly broken down as Kevin Clifton got closer to Strictly contestant Louise Redknapp.


Louise and Jamie Redknapp

Louise Redknapp was a contestant on the 2016 series of Strictly. 

In 2017, she announced that her 18-year marriage to English footballer Jamie Redknapp was over and that the couple would be divorcing.

It came after rumours that the strain of the series had been the cause.


Giovanni Pernice and Georgia May Foote

Georgia May Foote was dating Corrie co-star Callum Logan when she met Italian dancer Giovanni Pernice.

The couple were partnered together during the 2015 series, with her relationship with Callum ending in the December. 

Giovanni and Georgia dated for several months before calling it quits in August 2016.


Kristina Rihanoff and Ben Cohen

Former Rugby player Ben Cohen was partnered with Kristina Rihanoff during the 2013 series of Strictly. 

After finishing the show, Ben announced that his eleven-year marriage was over to Abby Blayney.

Kristina and Ben later announced that they were in a relationship and they welcomed a daughter in 2016.

Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev

In November 2013, Rachel Riley confirmed that she and her husband were getting a divorce despite being together since she was 19. 

While Rachel denies that the Strictly curse had anything to do with it, she did say that Strictly gave her the distance she needed. 

After Strictly ended, Rachel and Pasha started dating with the two eloping to Las Vegas in June 2019.

The couple welcomed their second child last year.


Jimi Mistry and Flavia Cacace

Professional dancer Flavia was partnered with Jimi Mistry during the 2010 series. 

The couple got together during the series and are still happily married after tying the knot in 2013.

Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev

Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev were the winners of Strictly in 2010.

The two reportedly started dating after the series ended and were together for three years.


Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna

In 2019, Hollyoaks actress Ali Bastian started dating her dance partner, Brian Fortuna.

The two broke up around a year later.

Kristina Rihanoff and Joe Calzaghe

With only a week in, Joe Calzaghe ended his 5-year relationship with Jo-Emma Larvin.

The boxer started dating his partner Kristina but the relationship ended around four years later.


Matt Di Angelo and Flavia Cacace

Flavia Cacace broke up with long-term boyfriend and fellow Strictly pro, Vincent Simone when she was partnered with Eastenders actor Matt Di Angelo.

Flavia and Matt split in 2013 before she went on to marry her series partner Jimi Mistry.


Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole

Known as the first case of the Strictly curse, Natasha and Brendan were partnered together during the first season of Strictly. 

Brendan was married to fellow dancer Camilla Dallerup until he split up with her in 2004. 

Neither of the pair has ever confirmed that they were together and the two are now married to other people.