Strictly Come Dancing has never had a problem signing up well-respected celebrities to take part in the show. Let’s face it, there’s no bushtucker trials to complete as you may see in I’m A Celebrity; neither are they at high risk of breaking a bone which often occurs in Dancing on Ice. This year, however, it’s been stated that BBC bosses are struggling to secure a line-up for the 2018 series of the popular dancing show – and there’s a very good reason.
It’s well-known that the show has been subject to the infamous ‘Strictly’ curse which is often the cause of a whole host of marriage break-ups.
According to The Sun Online, a huge 21 celebrities have refused to take part in the show so far due to the alleged ‘curse’.
Those who have been asked and have turned down the offer include Eastenders actress Lacey Turner, Apprentice Star Claude Littner and even Love Actually and Loose Women panellist Martine McCutcheon.
Other celebrities rumoured to have said ‘no’ to joining this year’s line-up have also been said to include former British Bake Off Presenter Mel Giedroyc and Spandau Ballet singer Martin Kemp.
A source connected to the BBC stated: “Strictly used to be a show that no celebrity ever turned down. But the Curse has changed all that.
‘There is now a genuine concern that appearing on the show can negatively impact relationships. Jamie only has negative feelings about Strictly now. There’s absolutely no way he would appear.”
Former Strictly winner and Love Island presenter Caroline Flack once told the Huffington Post the real reason as to why so many relationships break up as a result of joining the show: “People always say about the Strictly curse and people getting together because they must be getting sexy the whole time – it’s not because of that. It’s because you see each other at your worst.” she said.
“You’re grumpy, you’re sweaty and you build this team together, so I can see how people get together within the series. You spend so much time with each other, and you really only see each other for that whole week.”
One of the biggest names who has reportedly turned down the offer from bosses is professional footballer Jamie Redknapp, whose marriage to Louise has been at the centre of headlines over the past 12 months.
Louise took part in the show back in 2016 and after being in the spotlight again; realised that she had been stuck in a rut when it came to her marriage to Jamie – therefore the pair decided to separate as a result.
Before signing up to the show, Louise laughed when asked whether she was ‘worried’ about the Strictly curse and whether it could disrupt her marriage to Jamie.
The 43-year-old told Hello Magazine: “After so many years, it’ll take more than Strictly and a sparkly leotard to cause problems.”
But, when the series came to an end, she realised that her marriage to Jamie wasn’t as solid as she had always believed.
“It was only when I agreed to do Strictly Come Dancing that I realised I couldn’t just go back to that,” she confessed to the Daily Telegraph. “People might look at me and think I’ve got everything, but a sweeping staircase and designer handbag doesn’t really do it for me.”
During her Strictly experience, Louise claimed that fellow contestant Daisy Lowe had entered her dressing room and told her “Oh my God, look at your gorgeous body. You have to wear a sexy dress.” according to The Telegraph’s Stella Magazine. She claimed this was the moment she realised that the stage is where she belonged and had been living in a ‘rut’ for a number of years.
“She kept on at me to wear something sexy, and by week three I was in a leotard and tights not feeling self-conscious at all. I could feel myself changing week by week. Sometimes I felt like crying because deep down inside me this voice was screaming, ‘This is what I have been missing.'”
Over the past week, it’s been revealed that the couple are set to divorce after months of separation, with Louise has allegedly accusing Jamie of ‘unreasonable behaviour’.
A source told Celebs Now Online: “Louise was a devoted wife and mother and felt strongly about needing her own career, fame and money. By expressing her independence she was trying to push Jamie to wake up – she never wanted the divorce to materialise.
“Louise even suggested seeing a new family counsellor in the New Year, but in the end it was Jamie who took off his wedding ring. He was reportedly egged on by mates and some of his family who are said to be livid with Louise for following the path of resurrecting her stardom.”
However, this isn’t the first time a marriage has suffered as a result of the show.
The ‘Strictly Curse’ initially began when newsreader and contestant Natasha Kaplinsky decided to divorce her husband, while professional dancer Brendan Cole split with fellow Strictly star and girlfriend Camilla Dallerup – both within the same series.
Rugby player Ben Cohen divorced his wife, after realising that he was in love with his professional dance partner Kristina Rihanoff. Likewise, Countdown presenter Rachel Riley decided to call it quits on her marriage after falling for her dance partner Pasha Kovalev.
While the entire thing may seem a little bit of a coincidence, professional Strictly dancer Ola Jordan went on to reveal that such instances are understandable due to the connection couples build on over the weeks: “It happens in the movies with actors and it happens on Strictly. It happens as people get close. It is the bond you have with your partner.” she said.
Just last week, This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby appeared on Loose Women last week and admitted that she would love to take part in the show if she had to choose between all reality shows, but would be worried about performing complicated dance routines in front of millions.
“Everyone would be watching me do it and that would be horrendous because I’m not very good at dancing. I’d love to learn to dance but not on telly.” she said.