Strictlys most controversial pairings – death threats, breakdowns and feuds

Everyone has heard of the Strictly curse when it comes to a series of broken relationships and sordid affairs that spilled out of the hit dancing show.

But over the years, Strictly Come Dancing's curse seems to have caused a string of bitter feuds and controversy between dance partners, resulting in death threats, claims of feeling "broken" and accusations of bullying.

More than a handful of celebrities and professional dancers have fallen foul over the years, from Pop Idol star Will Young to Wanted star Max George.

A far cry the glitz and glam of the ballroom show, let’s take a look at some of Strictly Come Dancing’s most controversial couples as this year’s glamorous series waltzes on…

Dianne Buswell and Max George

Pro dancer Dianne Buswell got more than she bargained for when she was partnered up with The Wanted hunk Max George in the 2020 series of the show.

The Australian stunner, who was dating YouTube star Joe Sugg after being partnered with him two years earlier, reportedly received death threats from crazed trolls who believe she was intent on cheating on her boyfriend with the handsome singer.

In one sinister message, a fan of social media star Joe claimed to be at the apartment block where Dianne and Max are staying during the Covid-secure series, posting on Twitter: "This will be the end for Dianne."

Some fans also alleged that Dianne and Max has sneaked into one another’s rooms after rehearsal.

The messages were reported to have greatly worried both Dianne and bosses at the BBC, who ramped up security following the nasty threats.

A show source said ta the time: "This was truly chilling — because someone claimed to be waiting for Dianne at a certain address.

"Sadly, death threats to cast members are something producers have to deal with as the profile of their talent is sky-high."

Danny John-Jules and Amy Dowden

Red Dwarf actor Danny John-Jules was labelled a bully and given numerous warnings by show bosses for his aggressive behaviour towards partner Amy Dowden.

Shocking allegations at the time of their appearance on the 2018 series reveal he left the dance pro in tears during training — at one point angrily telling her: "I’m the star, not you."

The Welsh dancer was seen storming out of rehearsals telling BBC bosses she’s had enough after Danny left her in tears by swearing and shouting at her during training sessions.

A source said at the time: "Amy’s been crying constantly at the hands of Danny. He gets very angry in the training room and he swears and shouts at her a lot."

The BBC responded saying: "Tempers often fray in the rehearsal room but things went a bit far this week.

Death In Paradise actor Danny tried to make light of the claims by tweeting a 1933 poster of King Kong grasping actress Fay Wray and captioning it: "My new CV."

Danny has since admitted of Amy on Twitter: "I should [have] have expressed my gratitude more often. You truly inspired me."

Fern Britton and Artem Chigvintsev

Former This Morning star Fern Britton shock fans when she revealed former Strictly Come Dancing partner Artem Chigvintsev used to ''kick'' and ''shove'' her during training.

The TV presenter also claims he once told her he would "kill" her if she didn't go home one day, and she said back: "Oh please, just kill me, it would be easier".

Another example of his abuse during their 2012 appearance included him threatening to explode like a bomb if she left the rehearsal for a break.

"'If you go for a cup of tea now, I will blow off like an atomic bomb'," said Fern when recapping the incident.

"I thought, 'Well, I won't correct him on that one.'"

The Russian-American dancer hit back at the allegations blasting: "I believe I treated Fern with respect and genuine care, and these claims about me are the opposite of everything I believe in and the person I am.

"I cannot imagine what has prompted such statements which come as a shock to me. I just want to thank all my fans and friends for their support and belief in me."

Anton Du Beke and Laila Rouass

British ballroom star Anton Du Beke was at the centre of a race row in 2009 after it was claimed that he called his dancing partner, Footballers’ Wives actress Laila Rouass, a "P**i".

Rouass, who is mixed race, reportedly stormed out of a rehearsal with her dance partner after showing up with a spray tan and being told she "looked like a P**i" by the star.

Fans of the show called for Anton to be sacked over his comments amid claims of bullying but the ballroom dancer insisted the comments were just banter and no racism had occurred.

He said: "I must say immediately and categorically that I am not a racist and that I do not use racist language.

"During the course of rehearsals Laila and I have exchanged a great deal of banter entirely in jest, and two weeks ago there was an occasion when this term was used between the two of us.

"There was no racist intent whatsoever. I apologise unreservedly for any offence my actions might have caused."

Rouass, who has an Indian mother and Moroccan father, accepted his apology.

"It was a situation which happened that we have moved on from and I accept his apology," she said.

Will Young and Karen Clifton

Among some of Strictly’s most explosive fall outs was when Pop Idol star Will Young stormed off the show after just a few weeks in 2016.

Reports at the time claimed Will Young sensationally quit because of a deep rift with his professional partner Karen Clifton.

His dramatic exit prompted speculation over what might have caused him to leave, after a number of promising routines had him tipped to win the Glitterball trophy that year.

The Evergreen singer was said to be fed up with being scolded and the long hours were reported to have left him feeling exhausted.

Will later set the record straight after revealing he had been suffering with mental health struggles including post-traumatic stress disorder, as well a number of addictions.

Will later spoke about his condition, explaining that he believes it began when he was separated from his twin brother at birth

Speaking about shock exit, he said: "I was really ill. I was dragging myself to rehearsals. I just couldn't do it anymore. It was so bad I thought – I'm not joking – I thought about breaking my leg.

"I decided to take on Strictly because I bloody love dancing. And I bloody hated it, because I was so ill."

Ola Jordan and Steve Backshall

Ola found herself at the centre of allegations she had "bullied" her celebrity dance partner Steve Backshall.

Despite wrestling poisonous snakes and diving with great white sharks, adventurer and children’s TV star Steve Backshall reportedly lodged a complaint with the BBC, claiming she ‘bullied’ him in gruelling practice sessions.

The pair were then rumoured to have been assigned a chaperone to follow them around after he refused to be alone with the 32-year-old Polish-born dancer.

He later blasted the allegations, saying he "was not going to dignify it with a response".

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