‘Scary to leave Strictly’ Pasha Kovalev’s ‘terrible’ lockdown struggles with ‘no income’

Rachel Riley's partner Pasha adorably plays with daughter Maven

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Ex-Strictly Come Dancing star Pasha Kovalev, who is married to his wife and Countdown star Rachel Riley, made a candid admission as the professional dancer opened up about a difficult time. It comes as the Russian-born star was forced to postpone his dance tour last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 41-year-old had teamed up with his former Strictly co-star Aljaz Skorjanec for their dance tour Here Come The Boys.

But due to the government restrictions and theatre closures, their dance show was placed on hold.

Pasha, who welcomed his first daughter Maven in 2019 with his other half Rachel, reflected on life during the first lockdown.

Writing in a column for Mail Online, the former Strictly star confessed he had a “terrible” time not being able to work but there was a bright side, as he got to spend quality time with his baby girl.

Pasha wrote: “Maven was three months old when we went into lockdown.

“My dance tour Here Come The Boys was postponed. It was terrible — no work, no income.”

He added: “But because I wasn’t off travelling, I’m very grateful I got to see my daughter in that first period of her life.”

Pasha announced that he was leaving Strictly in an emotional Twitter post in 2019.

At the time, the professional dancer explained that he wanted to “find a new challenge”.

Addressing his exit, Pasha added to the same publication: “It was scary deciding to leave Strictly in 2019.

“I loved the family feel of the show and it opened a lot of doors. But I knew I had to move on, and I don’t regret it for a second.”

Pasha has since shared some exciting news as he revealed that Here Come The Boys is set to return to theatres later this year.


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Taking to Instagram, he penned: “One more step closer to normality! Finally in the theatres near you! The perfect cast for the perfect show to kick off the theatre season 2021.

“I’m so excited to be reuniting with my friends, performing on one stage together very soon – come and see us!”

In addition, Pasha announced that his show Rise Up With The Arts is making a return.

The world’s first virtual variety show brings together the best of the best from every part of the industry for an amazing show of entertainment to inspire, empower and raise money for the arts.

Elsewhere, Countdown star Rachel – who is expecting her second baby with her husband Pasha – shared a series of new photos of 16-month-old Maven with fans.

The first picture shows Rachel and her little girl posing together on a London street and both wearing matching black hoodies.

Other images include one of little Maven wearing a sweet animal print jacket and smiling as she makes friends with some sheep, and another showing her reading a book with her dad, former Strictly star Pasha.

She captioned the post: “Who wore it better?! (Clearly I can’t compete with the baby!) Thanks to this lucky girl’s very talented aunties @myleeneklass and @cookiebykonnie sending presents to keep her on trend and entertained – thanks ladies! Loving the threads and books xxx.”

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