The mood on the “Strictly Come Dancing” stage in the weekend’s episode was happy as pairs of dancers grooved to blockbuster movie theme songs. It was, however, a different story backstage as ex-couple Neil and Katya Jones exchanged harsh words with each other.

It is said that what triggered the backstage spat was Katya’s comment to “Strictly” host Claudia Winkleman saying that she had “never been better.” This made the atmosphere on stage awkward. Neil, who was just standing a few meters away behind her, had to force a smile, reports The Sun. Winkleman, meanwhile, laughed and remarked that she did not believe her.

Once the film crew started packing up, Neil approached Katya right away and a source told The Sun he said he did not appreciate the comment. He felt that it was an insult hurled at him on Live television. But, she denied that the line had anything to do with him.

Neil-Katya divorce

Before the current “Strictly” season started, the couple announced that they were divorcing. This followed months of speculation as to the status of their relationship. Paparazzi took a photo of Katya last year kissing her then-“Strictly” dance partner, comedian Seann Walsh, in a London street.

The two dancers have been together for 11 years, six of which were spent as a married couple. While there was speculation as to Walsh’s involvement, the couple explained that the marriage had started becoming more like a friendship instead of a romance, hence the divorce.

The two dancers were adamant about making sure that their professional relationship will remain intact. They assured fans that there won’t be too much in-show drama that will start because of their split. In fact, Neil even said that he was looking forward to working together on the show, according to The Telegraph. Katya, for her part, also signed up to design some of the costumes Neil will wear on his solo tour Gingerland.

When the paparazzi photos leaked last year, Katya and Seann became another example of the “Strictly curse.” It is said that the “curse” happens when a contestant leaves their current relationships or marriages as a result of being part of the show. Back then, Seann had been dating actress Rebecca Humphries. Both Katya and Seann issued apologies on their respective Twitter accounts after the news broke.

It can be recalled that earlier this year, Neil still defended Katya from detractors. He even said that people were overreacting too much on the kiss.

Their relationship

Neil and Katya met each other in 2008 during a Blackpool dance tournament. They were forced to work with each other as partners. They started dating soon after. They married in 2013 and became part of the popular dance competition show’s lineup in 2016.

Two weeks before the split was announced, the couple actually celebrated their sixth anniversary. Neil and Katya even posted photos of them together on their Instagram accounts to mark the date.