James Jordan backs Neil Jones to replace Pasha Kovalev on Strictly Come Dancing

The Dancing on Ice finalist thinks it’s about time Neil got a celebrity partner

Strictly Come Dancing, Neil Jones, James Jordan (Getty)

It’s a good few months until Strictly season, and yet we’re already talking about the line-up for the new series.


With the news that Strictly staple Pasha Kovalev is leaving the show for pastures new, fans are wondering whether a brand new professional dancer will be cast to replace him.

But former Strictly pro James Jordan believes there should only be one man for the job – Neil Jones, husband of Strictly dancer Katya Jones, who is yet to have a celebrity partner on the series.

Jordan, who will be in with a chance of being crowned Dancing on Ice champion this weekend, explained Jones would be the right choice, adding he was surprised he hadn’t competed on the show before.

neil Jones

Speaking to RadioTimes.com at the Dancing on Ice finale press day, the 40-year-old said, “Neil is amazing. He should have a celebrity partner 100%.

“He has competitively been ranked higher than anyone, he’s a great choreographer, he’s also British, so I just know he’ll be fantastic for the show.”

Jones was put under the spotlight when his wife Katya was caught kissing her celebrity partner Seann Walsh during the 2018 series.

Asked whether he could see himself returning to Strictly, Jordan said he feels he’s “too old” now.

“I’m 41 next month. I wouldn’t want to stand next to AJ [Pritchard] and all those young boys,” he said. “I had an amazing time on Strictly. I did eight years, I wouldn’t change anything. But I wouldn’t go back because I feel I’ve been there, done that.”

'Strictly Come Dancing 2018' - Red Carpet Launch

However, he also believes that fellow pro dancer Anton Du Beke, who, at 52, is 12 years older than Jordan, should remain on the show.

“Anton is part of the furniture,” he said. “I think maybe he could go back at some point in a different capacity, whether it be as a judge or a presenter.

“But I do feel he is part of what Strictly is about, same as Brucie was, same as Tess is.”

Dancing on Ice, James Jordan (ITV screenshot)

Jordan faces fierce competition from Love Island contestant Wes Nelson and X Factor star Saara Aalto in the Dancing on Ice final on Sunday 10th March.

But when asked whether he preferred ice skating to dancing terra firma, Jordan remained tight-lipped.

“I honestly couldn’t say,” he replied. “I wouldn’t be on this show if it wasn’t for Strictly. Dancing has always been my profession, my passion. I’m a lot older now, I would have loved to have started skating from a lot younger age to see how good I could have been because I’m also realistic that I’m still a novice. They make us look much better than we are.

“But I’ve loved it. Learning their skill has been really amazing.”


Dancing on Ice concludes Sunday at 9pm on ITV

Sign up to the RadioTimes.com email newsletter