Janette Manrara says Strictly announcements are 'bittersweet'
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Janette Manrara and Aljaž Škorjanec met on the hit BBC series and have been married for four years. Last year they were forced to quarantine separately to take part in Strictly Come Dancing with their celebrity partners and this year they must do the same. The only difference is Janette does not have a partner as she prepares to present It Takes Two with Rylan Clark Neal. Reflecting on the moment she heard she’d got the job, Janette admitted she had to keep it a secret from her husband.
The pair were out for dinner with friends with Janette waiting to meet up with everyone when Strictly called.
She explained they apologised for offering her the role as she waited alone but this didn’t faze Janette.
Instead, she “screamed silently” as she celebrated her change in career.
For the rest of the evening, Janette had to keep the news to herself until she went home with Aljaž.
“I was in a fancy bar on my own, so I couldn’t scream out loud – I screamed silently!” she recalled.
“Then I couldn’t say anything as it was supposed to be a secret.
“I didn’t tell Aljaž until we got home, and he cried. Then we had a drink!”
Aljaž added he is “extremely proud” of his wife as presenting has been her “ultimate goal”.
But it wasn’t just Janette who received career news this year as Aljaž will landed a role in musical Matilda.
“It’s honestly surreal,” the professional dancer from Slovenia told Mirror Online.
“It was a huge opportunity that I couldn’t believe I got.”
He added he wants to “dedicate myself to it” and has even signed up for acting lessons to make sure he’s prepared.
For now though, attention is on the next series of Strictly Come Dancing which is set to start in a matter of weeks.
Aljaž doesn’t know who he will be partnered with and last year was paired with Clara Amfo.
The pair made it to week six before they were booted out over their Jive which earned a low score of 19 points.
With the first male same-sex partnership, Aljaž could even find himself paired with John Whaite for the new series.
The latest reports regarding Strictly pairings suggest his co-star Giovanni Pernice will not be partnered with Katie McGlynn due to a rumoured relationship years ago.
While the pair were romantically linked, they never confirmed they were dating. However, bosses are said to have decided against putting them together.
A source told The Sun: “There’s always speculation about the pairings and how they will impact on relationships. The bosses do not want to stoke flames.”
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later this year.
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