Move over Strictly – inside the Dancing on Ice 'curse'… and why it could spell trouble for popular Love Island couple | The Sun
8th December 2022

YOU’VE heard of the Strictly Curse but there's another dancing show shattering celeb romances across the board.

Weeks after he was spotted snogging Maura Higgins, Dancing on Ice star Joey Essex is rumoured to be romancing his dance partner Vanessa Bauer.

He even introduced her to his mates this week, though Vanessa has insisted they're "just skating partners".

In past series of the ITV talent show, romances have blossomed – sometimes despite partners being in existing relationships.

The pressure and busy schedule of the show has been known to drive partners apart.

And there appears to be a pattern emerging when it comes to Love Island stars falling victim – though this year's contestant Ekin-Su Culculoglu has laughed off suggestions she and Davide Sanclimenti will succumb.


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Here we examine the so-called 'Dancing on Ice Dumping' to see how it matches up to the infamous Strictly Curse.

Curtis Prichard and Maura Higgins

Love Island lovers Curtis and Maura announced their split in March 2020 after just seven months together.

The break-up was put down to the couple’s “busy schedules” keeping them apart a month after Maura first appeared on Dancing On Ice.

Among speculation that Curtis had kissed professional dancer Amber Pierson who he performs with on tour, it was reportedly Maura’s hectic dancing schedule that finally saw them call it quits.

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An insider told the MailOnline: “In the weeks leading up to their break-up they had hardly seen each other, with Curtis on tour and Maura performing on Dancing On Ice.

“But she has been so upset since, this is her normal life and she did truly love Curtis.”

Megan Barton-Hanson and Wes Nelson

A second Love Island couple to face the curse, Megan Barton-Hanson and Wes Nelson saw their relationship crumble after his appearance on the show.

The split was thought to have been sparked by Wes’ close relationship with his dancing partner Vanessa.

Megan slammed Vanessa after the DOI launch for "not looking her in the eye" and announcing her "tactical break-up" from circus performer Louis Nathaniel just hours beforehand.

She was furious at the professional skater for not introducing herself.

At first Vanessa stayed silent about the DOI drama, but later liked tweets branding Megan “jealous and insecure”.

It was later claimed Wes and Vanessa had a fling in the 'early stages' of the competition but it fizzled out.

Kem Cetinay and Amber Davies

Another Love Islander to dart straight from the villa to the rink was Kem back in 2017.

He and Amber ended their romance just four months after winning the show, and fellow islander Alex Bowen blamed DOI for their split.

Speaking to the Sun at the time of their split he said: “The fact Kem got Dancing On Ice – that will be taking up a lot of his time.

“They get on but they don't have time for each other."

Jake Quickenden and Danielle Fogarty

Jake split from his long term partner and fiancé Danielle Fogarty shortly after he won the show.

While he said their split had nothing to do with the show, he did claim producers “deliberately” paired up skaters who would get along.

He said of the bosses: “They always put you with maybe who you can… maybe you’ll get on, but most people are coupled up and nobody wants to ruin a relationship.

“But you can see why it might happen, you spend a lot of time with people, dancing and stuff.”

Matt Lapinskas and Shona McGarty

EastEnders actor Matt and skating pro Brianne Delcourt denied rumours of a romance after they were paired up on the series as Matt was in a relationship with his co-star Shona McGarty at the time.

After the series ended they announced they were a couple, but both insisted their romance only developed after Matt had become single.

However, after Matt moved on from Brianne with a theatre co-star the devastated skater spilt the beans to The Sun, claiming: "He pursued me behind Shona’s back. Lots of people warned me but I didn’t listen.

"I’ve stood by and lied for him about when we got together as I loved him and didn’t want to hurt Shona."

Sylvain Longchambon and Samia Ghadie

Pro skater Sylvain and Corrie star Samia are one of the success stories of the show after welcoming their son in 2015 and getting hitched in 2016.

But at the time they courted controversy as the French hunk had been in a two-year relationship with another soap actress – Jennifer Metcalfe.

At the time the Hollyoaks star told The Sun the Frenchman had dumped her on Christmas Day, revealing: "It's like death. I felt gutted. It was the worst Christmas ever.”

Samia had been dating co-star Will Thorp but the pair shockingly split around the same time that Sylvain left Jen.

Beth Tweddle and Steven Cryer

The couple had been dating for three years before she got her skates on back in 2013.

Gymnast Beth split from Steven halfway through the series, and he later revealed that he had been given the chuck via text.

Speaking exclusively to the Sun on Sunday he blamed Dancing On Ice for their separation, claiming: “I think fame has gone to Beth's head.

“But when the show ends and the bubble bursts, she'll come down to Earth with a bang. There will be no Olympics, no Dancing On Ice and I won't be there. It will just be a void."

Beth went on to win the show and married Andy Allen in July 2018.

Donna Air and James Middleton

The glam actress was paired with Mark Hanretty when she hit the rink in 2018.

She was dating Kate Middleton's brother James at the time, and had been for five years, but the couple split three months into rehearsals.

Donna never revealed why, claiming they remained the "very best of friends".

Frankie Poultney and David Seaman

The legendary England goalie and pro skater were paired together on the show but both were married to other people at the time.

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Following the end of the series they both ended their respective marriages and fell in love during the live tour in 2008.

Frankie and David turned out to be another success story as the couple went on to get married in 2015.

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