Dancing on Ices Ashley Banjo confirms split from wife after 16 years together
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Dancing on Ice judge Ashley Banjo has announced his split from his wife Francesca Abbott.
The couple have been together for 16 years and says their focus is now on their two young children.
Diversity star Ashley, 31, and Francesca are childhood sweethearts and got engaged back in 2014.
READ MORE: Diversity stars now – dating Little Mix, TikTok fame and 23-stone weight loss
They later tied the knot in 2015 but on Thursday (December 22) they shared a joint statement on their Instagram pages.
The pair wrote that their main priority would be co-parenting their two children, Rose, three, and Micah, two.
Ashley and Francesca said: "After much thought and consideration we both feel now is the time to share some personal news.
"Nearly 18 months ago we took the difficult decision to separate. After being together for over 16 years, since we were teenagers, this is not a decision that has been taken lightly.
"It has not been easy and the processing of the situation has not been fast by any means. But we feel that as we approach the new year it is time to share this news with others.
"Our main focus will always be our beautiful children. Every decision that has been made is to make sure we can continue as a loving family and give the very best of ourselves as parents.
"Raising Rose and Micah in a healthy and happy environment is the most important thing to both of us.
"Sometimes after so many years people just move in different directions, but we do so lovingly and we continue to try and be both the best parents possible and the best of friends to each other.
"We have always been private with our personal lives, so we kindly ask that everyone please continue to respect that privacy. We won't be making any further comment on the situation. Thank you… Lots of Love Ash and Chess x"
Francesca is a member of another dance troupe called Out of the Shadow.
Ashley shot to fame when his dance troupe, Diversity, won the third series of Britain's Got Talent in 2009.
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He has since become a judge on Dancing on Ice, which is set to return next month.
Ashley previously discussed the couple's "tough" journey to conceive and his excitement at becoming a father first time around during an interview on Lorraine.
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