Janette and Alijaz open up on Strictly curse as they admit show can be tricky for celeb relationships
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Strictly professionals Janette Manrara and husband Aljaž Škorjanec admit the dance show can be tricky for celeb couples amid the infamous 'curse'.
Opening up in an exclusive chat with OK!, Janette said: "Strictly’s a pretty happy show. The worst thing that happens is an injury, or Craig [Revel Horwood] giving someone a four! But everyone loves a bit of drama and that’s what the Strictly curse covers. It’s a very intense show – you’re with the same person for hours upon hours, day after day, week after week.
"The problem with that is that it does test a lot of relationships. You’re exhausted and busy, so you don’t have the time that you normally have for your spouse or partner.
"That can be tricky for relationships. So I always say it’s not Strictly’s fault, couples just need to sit down and understand what they’re about to do before they sign up. Those conversations really help but when those conversations are not had, it can sometimes be tricky to figure it out as you go."
Janette and Aljaž have been married for four years and admit the key to avoiding the curse is to have an open line of communication.
Janette explained: "We always talk and have such an open communication as a couple, the Strictly curse has never been an issue for us.
"If anything, we say Strictly was a blessing as it’s the reason we were able to stay together. A couple of years in, we got engaged, a couple of years later we got married, so Strictly for us is definitely the biggest blessing."
This year's series will see Janette move from the dancefloor to the presenting studio after it was announced that she had taken over from Zoe Ball on the spin-off show It Takes Two.
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Asked about her reaction to finding out she'd landed the top job, she admitted: "It all happened quite quickly. I messaged Zoe Ball the day she announced she was leaving, saying, 'I’m going to miss you so much. I’ve loved sitting and talking to you on the couch.'
"She replied, 'It should be you taking over,' with a wink face. I remember thinking, 'If only – that would be amazing!' A couple of weeks later, the Strictly producer called and said, 'How would you feel if I suggested you for It Takes Two?' I thought about not being able to dance and almost said no. Then I remember thinking, 'What?! This is too good to be true!'"
Bursting with pride, husband Aljaž added: "I’ve known for so long that presenting has been Janette’s ultimate goal. So when I heard, I was in hysterics in the most beautiful way, as I know how hard Janette has worked. It’s not something that’s happened overnight."
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