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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)
Published: Wednesday, 4th September 2019 at 1:00 pm

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 has left 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 Neil Jones is "100 per cent" the man for the job having never been partnered with a celebrity on the series.

Jordan, who was crowned Dancing on Ice champion earlier this year, believes Jones would be the right choice, and added he was surprised he hadn’t competed before.


Speaking to earlier this year, he said: “Neil is amazing. He should have a celebrity partner 100 per cent.

“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 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.”

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, who quit the BBC ballroom hit in 2013, tried his hand at ice-skating and faced fierce competition from Love Island contestant Wes Nelson and X Factor star Saara Aalto in the Dancing on Ice final in 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.”


Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC 1, 7th September at 7:10pm

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