Strictly Come Dancing pro Katya Jones has revealed that ex-husband Neil has a tattoo dedicated to a milestone moment he shared with her in Blackpool, ahead of the BBC show this weekend.
The pair made history in 2016 when they became the first British couple ever to reach the World Final for their Latin dance routine, during their marriage.
Speaking out about the emotional experience, she exclaimed: “[My favourite memory about performing at Blackpool] was when myself and Neil, when we started representing Great Britain, made the final for the first time.
“I don’t think a British couple had made the final for over 20 years. When they announced our number, we didn’t believe it so we didn’t come out [but] a whole crowd pushed us on stage saying ‘It’s you, it’s you!'”
Looking back, the 34-year-old, exclaimed: “Neil has got our number tattooed on his body, so that’s how much it meant to us.”
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Neil and Katya are no longer together, after deciding to call it quits in 2019, and he has just welcomed his first child, daughter Havana, with Love Island star Chyna Mills.
However, Blackpool continues to hold fond memories for the ex-couple, who were once married for six years.
Last year, on her Instagram account, Katya explained that it is also the location where they first met.
“Blackpool means so much to @mr_njonesofficial and I. We met here back in 2008. We decided to dance together here. We made our first World Final and went on to win multiple National and International titles here.
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“And now dancing with our Strictly family here is very special. There will always be only one Blackpool. Thank you,” she exclaimed.
Elaborating further, she explained that she regards the city as “the mecca of the ballroom world” and the location where “history has been made”.
“Multiple legends of the dancefloor have performed there. So, for me, as someone coming from a different country, if you were going to compete in Blackpool it meant that you were good enough.
“It gave us all motivation and dedication to make it to Blackpool,” the Russian dancer, who was born in St Petersburg, continued.
Raving over the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, she described it as “architecturally very beautiful, grand and monumental”.
“You can feel the history of it in the air. It will just take your breath away, knowing how much history and tradition has happened there. Its magical.”
She also recalled that fellow pro Luba Mushtuk accompanied her to the city for the first time when she was just “13 or 14” years old and scoffing chocolate from a vending machine in between rounds of the competition.
Catch Strictly Come Dancing’s Blackpool Special as it kicks off tomorrow at 6:40pm on BBC One, ahead of Sunday’s results show which sees a performance from Madness in the ballroom.
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