Strictly's Neil and Katya Jones reveal sad news

Neil and Katya Jones

Strictly Come Dancing professionals Neil and Katya Jones have faced a rollercoaster year so far, after she was seen cosying up to her celebrity partner on the show, Seann Walsh.

But it appears the couple are back on track, as they recently attended a charity ball for Macmillan Cancer together, looking as loved up as ever.

However, after the evening had come to an end, Katya took to her Instagram to reveal the real, heartbreaking reason why the charity is so close to hers and her husband's heart.

The Strictly dancer revealed that she and Neil have experienced a devastating loss recently, losing their friend to cancer. It's the first time Katya has opened up about the loss.

She told her 123,000 followers, 'Beautiful event for @macmillancancer support last night.

'Recently we lost our friend to cancer. It was so sudden and left us all in shock. To see and hear real story about what MacMillan cancer support do was so important.'

Plenty of Katya's fans flocked to the sad Instagram post, thanking her and Neil for supporting such an important cause. One wrote, 'Thankyou for supporting this amazing charity cancer touches us all at some point in our lives.'

While another of her followers said, 'How wonderful to see you supporting such a great charity and cause.'

A third fan also wrote, 'Sorry to hear that. I have lost people too.'

Many fans were also delighted to see Neil and Katya looking so happy together again after a turbulent few months. One follower commented, 'You look so beautiful together xx'

And a second fan wrote, 'Stunning couple and all for a worthwhile cause.'

But Neil and Katya weren't the only Strictly attendees at the important event. They were also joined by Head Judge Shirley Ballas during the evening, who also has a poignant connection to the charity.

Her mother, Audrey, was recently diagnosed with the disease, earlier this year. Opening up about her mother's illness to the Mirror, Shirley revealed that she has been taking care of her ever since.

She said, '"She was diagnosed earlier this year. But she’s a trouper and we are dealing with it.

"I came over to her in the summer to take care of her and I had to learn to be a nurse."

If you or anyone you know needs support throughout a cancer journey, or you want to donate to the cause, visit Macmillan Cancer support here.

Amy Hunt
Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist, currently working as Life Channel Editor at She began as the magazine's features assistant before moving over to digital as a News and Features Writer, before becoming Senior Writer, and now a Channel Editor. She has worked on other women's lifestyle websites previously too—including Woman's Weekly,, Woman, and Woman's Own. In 2019, Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards, for her work on 

She is obsessive about everything homes and interiors—whether she's sniffing out the very best deal on a KitchenAid stand mixer or keeping up the latest Dyson release. And when she isn't editing or writing articles on interior trends or the latest home gadgets, she's passionate about books—you'll usually find her with her nose in a gripping thriller at the end of the working day.