Katya Jones speaks out on Strictly Come Dancing star’s exit ‘A difficult decision’

Strictly: Katya Jones says she’s ‘so happy’ for Janette Manrara

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Strictly Come Dancing professional Katya Jones revealed she only found out about Janette Manrara’s exit moments before she shared the news on The One Show. She explained Janette will be missed but she’s excited to sit alongside her during the dancing competition to chat about the progress of her celebrity partner.

Appearing on Jeremy Vine on 5, Katya shared: “Me and Janette are one of the closest friends and when I found out yesterday, literally just before the One Show.

“Literally tears came to my eyes because I know how much she deserves it, she’s worked really, really hard towards this.

“She’s said it’s a natural progression for her to move on to something else.

“However, I know it was a difficult decision for her, and we’re going to miss her dearly on the dance floor.”

Katya continued: “She’s our little pocket rocket, Disney princess Janette Manrara, but I’m sure she’ll be around us, and the entire Strictly family are just so happy for her.

“Although I think it’s going to be a little bit strange to sit on the sofa and talking to your mates who you’ve been hanging out with but she’s brilliant at it, I couldn’t be happier. “

The professional dancer also spoke about being trolled for her weight gain over Christmas.

“We all sort of gain a little bit of weight over lockdown, and it was more over Christmas, because I enjoyed my Christmas” she shared.

Janette Manrara announced as the new It Takes Two host

“Which was absolutely fine, because I know I’m going to be really proactive, I’m always proactive.

“But then later on people said: ‘Oh, nice to see her lose some weight ‘cause she was looking a bit chunky…’

“And by chunky I mean I went from a size six to a size eight, so that’s quite funny.

“But you know what, I don’t take that to heart cause it’s all up to me isn’t it, and I know I want to enjoy my Christmas or whatever, my birthday, and I’m a very active person and were going to be dancing soon anyway!”

Katya’s comment after Janette revealed she would be co-host of It Takes Two with Rylan Clark-Neal.

She explained: “I don’t want to well up because I have been welling up a lot today.

“It’s the realisation that I will not be on that legendary Strictly dancefloor any more.

“But I feel that this is most beautiful and natural progression.”

While Janette will not be dancing she will remain part of the Strictly Come Dancing family.

“I am still going to be seeing my fellow pros all the time and I will keep dancing, as they say. I will find a way to keep dancing,” she told The One Show viewers.

“My mum and my dad at home and my family back in Miami, they were immigrants from a small Cuban family, they came over and now their daughter is hosting a huge dance show here in the UK.

“They couldn’t be prouder. I couldn’t feel more privileged to be sharing this with such an awesome group of people.”

Jeremy Vine on 5 airs weekdays on Channel 5 at 9.15am.

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