By Cara Dudgeon

27th September 2019

Janette Manrara says Strictly Come Dancing can spark “beautiful relationships”.

Image Source/ BT

The 35-year-old star – who married fellow pro Aljaz Skorjanec two years ago after their romance developed during their time on the BBC Latin and ballroom competition – has hit out at the idea of the show’s so-called ‘curse’ insisting people should focus on the positive relationships that come from the programme.

Speaking to former ‘Strictly’ competitor Jeremy Vine on his Channel 5 current affairs panel show, she said:

‘To be honest with you, for me and Aliaj, we kind of swapped that whole thing round and we say that for us, ‘Strictly’ has been quite a blessing.

‘When we started ‘Strictly’ – seven years ago – we were just dating, then during ‘Strictly’ we got engaged, and then we got married, and now we’re celebrating our second wedding anniversary.

‘There’s lots of couples that have come out of ‘Strictly’ that have really thrived and had beautiful relationships. So in my opinion, it’s so much better to focus on the couples having happy relationships and doing well, versus, ‘Ooh, who’s going to cheat.’ ‘

Janette – who has been paired with Paralympic athlete Will Bayley for the new series – also hit out at “double standards” after comedian Seann Walsh kissed his pro partner Katya Jones last year on a night out when they were both in relationships. Katya has since split from her husband and fellow ‘Strictly professional Neil Jones.

She explained:

‘It is in my opinion a bit of a double standard though. Men and women both make mistakes all the time, and there’s no right or wrong in that opinion.

‘You can say, ‘That was OK’, ‘That was OK’, ‘This was wrong’, ‘That was not wrong’. But when it came to that specific situation, it was just so highlighted because they were both on the biggest show in the country!

‘If that had been any other couple going through something in the corner of the street, it’d be like, ‘Oh look at those two’. But because they’re part of this huge machine it just got overboard with the attention’.

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