Pasha Kovalev’s last Strictly dance will be alongside Cheryl Tweedy

It's the end of an era!

Pasha Kovalev & Cheryl Tweedy

by Emma Dodds |
Updated on

Pasha Kovalev broke hearts up and down the country earlier this week when he announced that he was leaving Strictly Come Dancing after eight years. The Russian dancer, who met girlfriend Rachel Riley whilst on the show, took to Twitter to reveal that he'd come to the decision that the last series of Strictly had been his last.

He wrote, 'After scoring 93 perfect tens, reaching 4 finals and lifting 1 Glitterball, it's time for me to find a new challenge and so I've decided to make last year my final season on Strictly. I've had eight fantastic years full of wonderful memories, thanks to the incredible partners, professionals and myriad of behind the scenes teams who all work to make Strictly the amazing production that it is.

'The biggest thanks goes to all the members of the public who've supported me so much over these years - I look forward to seeing you on the Strictly Pro-Tour this spring, and for many future adventures to come!'

And now, it's being reported that Pasha will indeed have a last dance as part of the Strictly family, taking part in a routine with the other Strictly professionals alongside none other than Cheryl Tweedy on her show The Greatest Dancer.

After confirming that the Strictly group would perform on the show in a trailer for the semi-final of The Greatest Dancer, a source told The Sun, "It’s a great way for Pasha to bow out. Cheryl has been a fan of Strictly for years."

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RADIO Strictly Come Dancing couples - slider with cover pic

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Swipe through to see which couples found love on Strictly Come Dancing...

Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole2 of 12
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Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole

On the first ever series of Strictly back in 2001, news reader Natasha Kaplinsky and professional dancer Brendan Cole were paired together.Despite both being in other relationships at the time, both Natasha and Brendan called off their romances and started dating after the series finished. Their relationship didn't last long though, and they are now both happily married to other people.

Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna3 of 12
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Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna

It was love at first sight for former Hollyoaks actress Ali Bastian and her Strictly partner Brian Fortuna in 2009. With the pair both single at the time, Ali and Brian started a relationship, only for it to end the following year.

Joe Calzaghe and Kristina Rihanoff4 of 12
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Joe Calzaghe and Kristina Rihanoff

When boxer Joe Calzaghe appeared on the show in 2009, he announced to the press that his relationship with his partner Jo-Emma Larvin had come to an end, just one week into his Strictly journey. Joe's professional dance partner Kristina Rihanoff was more than a shoulder to cry on, with the pair starting a romance. They went on to date for four years after show, before announcing their split.

Ben Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff5 of 12
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Ben Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff

After her relationship with Joe Calzaghe fell apart, Kristina later met another Strictly contestant, England rugby ace Ben Cohen. Both Ben and Kristina have denied rumours that Ben was still with his ex-wife Abby Blayney at the time they started dating, with the pair claiming they didn't get together until a year later. Things are going well however, the pair now share a daughter together called Milena and are in a happy relationship.

Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev6 of 12
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Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev

After her split from Joe Swash, actress Kara Tointon appeared on the 2010 series of Strictly and mended her broken heart with a little help from professional dancer Artem Chigvintsev.Despite this, things didn't work out for the couple and Kara is now loved-up with her boyfriend Marius Jensen, with rumours suggesting she could be pregnant with the couple's first child.

Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev7 of 12
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Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev

When Countdown presenter Rachel Riley appeared on Strictly in 2013 she was married to her ex-husband Jamie Gilbert. However, after just 16 months of marriage, the pair announced they were set for divorce in November 2016. Fast-forward to 2016 and Rachel revealed she was in a relationship with her 2013 Strictly partner Pasha Kovalev... And they are still together!

Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice8 of 12
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Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice

Georgia May Foote was dating her Coronation Street co-star Sean Ward when she joined the show in 2015. But when rumours circulated that the couple's relationship wasn't going well, they split in December 2015. Georgia was then spotted getting very cosy with her Strictly partner Giovanni, with the pair enjoying a holiday to Disneyland Paris for New Year.Despite this, the couple ended their relationship in August 2016.

Dianne Buswell and Joe Sugg9 of 12
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Dianne Buswell and Joe Sugg

After weeks of rumours, Joe Sugg appeared to confirm his relationship with Strictly Come Dancing partner Dianne Buswell with a photo on Instagram, the caption read, 'I may not have won the glitter ball, but I've won something a million times more special.'

Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez10 of 12
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez

Radio presenter Gemma Atkinson and professional dancer Gorka Marquez were first linked in the 2017 series, and got together whilst on the 2018 annual tour together. They moved in together in December 2018.

Giovanni Pernice and Ashley Roberts11 of 12
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Giovanni Pernice and Ashley Roberts

Professional dancer Giovanni Pernice and Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts were forced to deny they were dating during the 2018 series, but Giovanni confirmed the relationship in January 2019.In January 2020, the duo confirmed they'd split.

Caroline Flack and AJ Pritchard12 of 12
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Caroline Flack and AJ Pritchard

Official news on whether these two are dating is yet to be confirmed, but 2014 Strictly winner Caroline Flack was spotted kissing professional dancer AJ Pritchard at the 2019 NTAs.

Pasha's exit statement was followed by one from Strictly show bosses, who wrote, 'Pasha is an incredibly talented and dedicated dancer who is much-loved by his Strictly family and viewers and will be hugely missed.

'Since joining the show in 2011, he has competed in eight series, made it to four finals and was crowned champion with Caroline Flack in 2014. We would like to thank him for everything he has contributed to the show over the years and wish him the very best for the future.'

This comes after fellow Strictly professional AJ Pritchard sparked rumours that he was quitting the show too. In an interview with ITV News, the 24-year-old - who has been on the show for three years - confirmed that he has not yet been asked to return to the show, admitting that he "doesn't know yet" whether he'll be going back.

NOW WATCH: "It's not over for Me & AJ" 💕Lauren Steadman on life after Strictly! heat's Big Night In TalkTalkTV

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