Winning dancer Aliona Vilani announces she has quit Strictly

Pro dancer Aliona Vilani, who just won Strictly Come Dancing with Jay McGuiness, has called an end to her time on the BBC1 show.

She announced on Twitter that she had already decided before this series began that it would be her last. She added that after seven years on the show, ‘this has been my best Strictly experience by a long way!’

The Kazkhstan-born dancer, 31, also won the Strictly Glitterball tropy with singer Harry Judd in 2011, while her other partners included Rav Wilding, Matt Baker, Tony Jacklin and Gregg Wallace. She had to pull out of Strictly before the 2013 series began when she fractured an ankle in training.

Meanwhile, her Strictly partner Jay has spoken to ITV host Lorraine Kelly and cleared up any misconceptions about his relationship with Aliona, who’s married to Irishman Vincent Kavanagh.

Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani

(Ian West/PA)


He said: “When you dance with someone, you have to create romance sometimes and people then want to see that almost. But a lot of the time the papers create it and that sort of thing, but I think no matter what I say people will write whatever they want to write.

“We did something that so few people do together, I genuinely will treasure it forever. Honestly, you spend that many hours together, you talk about every single thing, like the most trivial and the most pretentious, literally everything. No matter what happens, you get a best friend out of Strictly.”

Aliona and Jay will take part in the Strictly Live tour in February.


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