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Strictly’s Janette Manrara says show saved her relationship with husband Aljaz

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Strictly Come Dancing professional Janette Manrara has revealed that the show saved her relationship with husband Aljaz Škorjanec.

The pair were both touring the world together when they first met while performing in Broadway’s Burn the Floor.

When the show planned to stop the professional dancers started to panic about what would happen to their relationship.

Aljaz was going to move back to Slovenia and Janette back to LA.

While talking on the Sliding Doors podcast, Janette reflected: “The thought of doing the whole long-distance thing made it hard for us.

"We were very scared about what was going to happen to our relationship.”

One night while performing in the Broadway production, Strictly Come Dancing producers were in the audience and asked the pair both to audition for the show.

According to Janette the audition did not go amazingly well but despite this, she soon received a call from the show.

She said: "They called me first and asked me to join the show, I didn’t scream but my face said it all. Within 5 minutes they called him [Aljaz] straight after.

“It was a dream come true.

“Getting Strictly Come Dancing was the most incredible thing, not just for my career but for my personal life and marriage with Aljaz because if it wasn’t for Strictly, I don’t know if we could have worked through the long-distance thing."

The pair married in 2017 with Strictly celebrities, presenters and pros attending the happy event.

As a teenager Janette attended musical theatre school and later competed on American TV series So You Think You Can Dance and was in the top four girls.

Her Plan B in life was to get a finance degree and work in a bank.

After the TV show, she moved to LA and performed with many artists including Jennifer Lopez and featured in the Las Vegas show of So You Think You Can Dance.

After landing the Strictly gig in 2013 Janette danced with the likes of Peter Andre, Aston Merrygold and HRVY.

But for the 2021 show she has decided to hang up her dancing shoes and is replacing Zoe Ball on the BBC Two spin-off show It Takes Two.

Recalling the moment she was asked to host the show, she said: “That was the pinch me moment and I started crying.”

She added: “The platform that strictly gave us from being on TV, I have a nice following now and it is important to use it and spread important messages that mean a lot to us.”

  • BBC
  • Strictly Come Dancing
  • London

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