Strictly Come Dancing curse strikes again as beloved pro dancer 'splits from husband'

Strictly Come Dancing logo
-Credit: (Image: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing dance pro and presenter Ian Waite has split from his husband after more then a decade together, it was claimed today.

The much-loved star - who was on the series from 2004 until 2010 before returning as an expert commentator on spin-off show It Takes Two - married Drew Merriman in 2017.

However, despite trying to work through their problems, Ian and Drew "sadly decided" that it was best to separate, the Mail has reported.

A source told the newspaper: "'Ian and Drew split a while ago," adding: "They are still friends despite the breakdown of their marriage."

Ian Waite with Zoe Ball on Strictly spin-off It Takes Two
Ian Waite with Zoe Ball on Strictly spin-off It Takes Two -Credit:Instagram
Ian Waite and Drew Merriman drinking champagne
Ian and Drew will remain friends after the break-up, a source said -Credit:Instagram/dwaite89

Drew is now thought to have struck up a new relationship with John McMahon, a former winner of the modelling contest Mr British Isles, who he met through work.

He shared pictures of them together on Instagram, where he wrote: "I get to be me, and do all of this with the most incredible man by my side."

Ian and Drew, who met in the summer of 2014, married at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire seven years ago in front of guests including Anton Du Beke, Craig Revel Horwood and Zoe Ball.

The Strictly curse - a phrase that has been around almost as long as the show itself - refers to the phenomenon of people breaking up with their partners either during or after the show.

Celebs named as being among its 'victims' include Jamie and Louise Redknapp, who split after her appearance, and Stacey Dooley, who left her boyfriend and struck up a romantic relationship with her dance partner Kevin Clifton.

Drew and John McMahon
Drew is now thought to be in a relationship with John McMahon -Credit:Instagram/dwaite89

Joe Sugg and Dianne Buswell also became an item after dancing together on the show, with her ending her relationship weeks into rehearsals for the series.

Strictly viewers will remember Ian from being partnered first with Denise Lewis in 2004, then Zoe, with whom he made the final, then Mica Paris the following year.

Other notable partners included former Loose Women star Penny Lancaster and the model Jodie Kidd.

He also appeared on several Strictly tours and became a fixture on It Takes Two, where he would critique contestants' rehearsals in the manner of a football analyst, using a large TV screen.

His marriage to Drew was announced in the first episode of the BBC spin-off in 2017, with the pair having tied the knot that summer.

Last year, Ian joined the Aussie version of Strictly which, like all the international spin-offs, is known as Dancing With The Stars. He was partnered with actress Virginia Gay but got eliminated in the semi-finals.