Strictly Come Dancing’s Neil Jones ‘won’t receive celebrity partner’ in huge shake-up

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Neil Jones was given a celebrity partner for the first time last year as he took to the floor with Alex Scott. However, it’s been reported his role has been reduced to background dancer again on Strictly Come Dancing. Meanwhile, his ex Katya Jones is rumoured to be the professional who will be partnered with Nicola Adams in the show’s first single-sex coupling. 

After joining the show in 2016, Neil remained a background dancer year-after-year until 2019. 

Neil and former England footballer Alex made it through to week 11 of the BBC competition. 

However, Strictly bosses have decided against pairing Neil with a celebrity again. 

A source said: “After a lot of discussion it was decided that Neil will be dropped from the line-up of professional dancers so he won’t be partnered with a contestant.

Read more: Dianne Buswell: Joe Sugg’s girlfriend and Strictly pro drops baby news

“He will still be part of the show but only in group routines. So viewers won’t see much of him anymore.”

The insider explained it was “tough” for Neil to take the news after only having one year as part of the main line-up.

Meanwhile, it’s been rumoured his ex Katya will be partnered with Nicola in the show’s first single-sex pairing. 

“This year he will watch Katya be the centre of attention while he sits on the sidelines,” the source told Daily Star Sunday. 

Express.co.uk has contacted a Strictly representative for comment. 

Katya also joined the show in 2016 and has been partnered with a celebrity every series since. 

In her first series, she was partnered with Ed Balls and a year later she lifted the Glitterball Trophy with Joe McFadden.

In 2018 she was partnered with Seann Walsh and the pair were involved in a Strictly scandal together when they were spotted kissing. 

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Last year, Katya and Mike Bushell were voted out of the competition in week eight. 

There are fewer celebrities competing in this year’s series which will likely influence which professionals will get partners. 

Strictly is starting a month later than usual and there are 12 pairings instead of 15.

Elsewhere, BBC viewers weren’t impressed when Strictly returned with a look back at the best moments from Movie Week. 

Fans took to Twitter to vent their frustration at snippets of performances being shown rather than the entire dance. 

One said: “Having ruined movie night with all the messing about and viewers’ videos, let’s hope the BBC learn from the comments and just show the best dances in full next week #Strictly.”

“This is SO disappointing. No full dances. There is nothing enjoyable about an hour and 20 mins of clips. And you have made a weekly series of them. Sorry I am switching off this is dull #strictly #movies,” a second wrote. 

Someone else added: “Can’t believe I’ve turned Strictly off! Massive disappointment. Wish you’d just showed the best dances in full. #strictly.”

A fourth shared: “This #strictly show is putting me off Strictly. I think it’s odd they keep flicking from dance to dance. Show the whole f*****g dance FFS!”

Strictly Come Dancing returns later this year to BBC One. 

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