Strictly's Shirley Ballas reveals she's 'gutted' after Katya Jones' Covid diagnosis sees her and Nicola Adams axed

SHIRLEY Ballas has revealed she's "gutted" after Katya Jones' Covid diagnosis has seen her and Nicola Adams axed from the show.

The head judge heard the news just before appearing on Dan Wootton's TalkRadio drivetime show.

And she told him: "I'm absolutely gutted. It's historic, this partnership. It was doing so well, and of course we wish them a speedy recovery and that Katya gets better.

"Health before anything. Health is your wealth, and it's sad for all of them because I know they personally are gutted."

Show bosses have worked hard to keep cast and crew safe from the virus; from getting rid of the studio audience, to the celebs forming bubbles with their partners.

When asked how Katya contracted the virus, Shirley said: "We go shopping, touch something, it's on a box, not even necessarily at the BBC. It could be anywhere out there.



"I'm so nervous to go out the front door in case I absolutely have to. So vigilance and hoping you're not one of the ones who get it."

The axed pair were in the dance off on Sunday night, but Shirley still feels they could have gone far in the competition.

She said: "It's too hard to call who could win, but certainly with the dances they had they were going to go far, in my estimation.

"It was just a fantastic team and partnership and they brought light every week. It was fabulous. We wish them both well."

Four crew members on the Saturday night juggernaut have also been forced to isolate after beingin close quarters to Katya.

After The Sun broke the news, Nicola, 38, explained: "I’m absolutely devastated my Strictly journey has come to an end so soon.

"I had so much more to give and so many people to win this for! But I just want to say a huge thank you to Katya for being the best dance partner anyone could ask for.

"She pushed me way out of my comfort zone and it’s been an incredible experience.



"I’m gutted to be out of the competition but in these unprecedented times and as frustrating as it is, the Covid measures in place are to keep everyone safe, and I’m doing what I can to help.

"I’ll be spending the next 14 days isolating so I’d like to apologise in advance for the ridiculous amount of TikToks I’ll be posting, in my new found free time when I’m not gaming!"

Katya, 31, added: "Dancing with Nicola has been an absolute inspiration.

"She's given her all each and every week and we were so excited to create more dances in the competition.


"Of course, I'm devastated to leave this way but I've made a friend for life and loved every moment of this special journey."

She concluded: "I’d like to wish good luck to all the remaining couples!"

The pair are the first couple in Strictly history to be forced out of the competition due to illness.

Nonetheless, boxer Nicola and pro dancer Katya have a place in the show's record books as the first same-sex couple in its 16-year run.


The news comes after Strictly: It Takes Two host Rylan Clark-Neal was forced into isolation after coming into contact with coronavirus.

The BBC tonight insisted the rest of the cast are unaffected and that the show will return to BBC One on Saturday night.

Producer Sarah James said: "We are incredibly sad that these unfortunate circumstances mean that Nicola and Katya are unable to continue on Strictly.

"They are a brilliant partnership and had already achieved so much during their time on the show.

"We'd like to thank them for their commitment and although their time in the competition has sadly come to an end we are hopeful that there will be opportunities for them to dance again in the future.”

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