Who is Katya Jones? Strictly Come Dancing 2017 professional dancer and wife of fellow dancer Neil Jones

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KATYA Jones is one of Strictly’s newest professionals, having joined the show last year for its fourteenth season.

And it was certainly a baptism of fire as she was paired with left-footed politician Ed Balls. Here’s what we know about brave Katya…

PA:Press Association

Ed Balls was partnered up with Katya, one of 2016’s new Strictly professionals

Who is Katya Jones, how old is he and what is his background?

Katya Jones, 24, is a pro dancer who was born Ekaterina Andreevna Sokolova in St Petersburg, Russia, to a Korean mother and Russian businessman father.

She started dancing when she was just six years old and then formed a partnership with her fellow dancer – and now husband – Neil Jones in 2008.

Together they won the World Professional Latin Showdance Championships in 2015, the year they wed – and they are also four times undefeated British National Professional Champions.

Then in 2016, they became the latest real-life Strictly couple to join the programme.

Speaking ahead of the 2016 series, the Russian dancer said: “I am so privileged to be joining Strictly Come Dancing.

“I know it is extremely intense, but so am I! I am fierce, fabulous, and would love to win!”

 The Russian pro is married to dance partner and fellow Strictly professional Neil Jones

BBC
The Russian pro is married to dance partner and fellow Strictly professional Neil Jones

Ed Balls was Katya’s first partner and they had a good run, making it through to week ten thanks to their comedy performances before being eliminated.

Neil, meanwhile, didn’t dance with a celeb last year, though he may be put into action in 2017.

Even if he doesn’t get a partner he will be busy taking loved-up photos with Katya for social media.

Dancing with all these male celebrities all day kept me away from my hubby! Haha finally got a hug and he’s asleep.. pic.twitter.com/gRgE3rShyg

— katya Jones (@Mrs_katjones) August 25, 2016

When is Strictly Come Dancing 2017 on and who are the judges?

Strictly Come Dancing launched on September 9 on BBC One, with the live shows kicking off on September 23.

Strictly always airs on BBC One in two parts. The main show is on Saturday normally around 7pm and the results show airs on Sunday at a similar time.

There will be a Christmas special again in 2017, with the celebrity participants expected to be announced in early November.

This year sees a new judging lineup after head judge Len Goodman retired.

He will be replaced by Shirley Ballas who joins returning judges Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel-Horwood on the panel.

There will be three new professional dancers joining the existing pros; Dianne Buswell, Amy Dowden and Nadiya Bychkova.

Ed Balls wows on Strictly Come Dancing as he performs on flaming piano

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