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Rachel Riley Insists Marriage Split Wasn't Caused By 'Strictly Come Dancing' 'Curse', After Revealing She's Dating Former Partner Pasha Kovalev

20/10/2014 11:44 BST | Updated 20/10/2014 11:59 BST

Rachel Riley has spoken about her relationship with her former ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ professional partner Pasha Kovalev, insisting he was not the reason for the end of her marriage.

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Rachel split from her husband Jamie Gilbert, who she’d been married to for just 16 months, last year, while it was later revealed that she’d begun dating her former dancing partner, though she’s adamant there isn’t a link between the two.

Speaking to The Sun, the ‘Countdown’ presenter pans claims the breakdown of her marriage was due to the ‘Strictly curse’, saying: “Pasha and I are dating, we’re having lots of fun. He’s a brilliant guy, really brilliant.

rachel riley

Rachel Riley

"‘Strictly’ was something I really enjoyed doing, but it wasn’t the cause of anything.

“On ‘Strictly’, you form a close bond with your partner, but there was nothing romantic when Pasha and I were dancing. It was just dancing.”

rachel riley pasha

Rachel and Pasha rehearsing last year

Pasha is currently paired with former ‘Xtra Factor’ presenter Caroline Flack, with the two coming in joint top place on the leaderboard this weekend, alongside ‘EastEnders’ actor Jake Wood.

However, Rachel says she’s not worried about Pasha and Caroline spending so much time together, adding: “I’m not jealous and he’s not. It’s just dancing.

“I’ve only met Caroline once and she’s an amazing dancer. I think she can really do it justice, which is lovely to see. I think they’re going to go all the way.”

Rachel is one of three contestants from last year’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ to split up with her long-term partner after the competition, a group which also includes Susanna Reid and Ben Cohen.

Ben was also recently forced to deny that his split was caused by his time on ‘Strictly’, insisting that he and partner Kristina Rihanoff were nothing more than friends.

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