Aljaž Škorjanec returns to Strictly Come Dancing

Professional dancer Aljaž Škorjanec is to return to Strictly Come Dancing this autumn after a two-year break.

The Slovenian dancer will join 14 other professionals for the 20th anniversary of the show.

Speaking on the news, Škorjanec, 34, said he was “ecstatic” to be back.

“I had an absolute ball during my nine-year stint on Strictly, during my time away I became a parent, which has been an exciting challenge in itself, and now I’m ready to experience the Strictly magic again.

“It feels so right to be coming back, I missed the fun, glitter and the judges of course, and I hope to make my daughter Lyra proud!”

Škorjanec and his partner Janette Manrara, who was also a professional dancer on the show for eight series, welcomed their first child, Lyra, in July 2023. They have been married since 2017.

Sharing a photo of Škorjanec and their daughter on Instagram, Manrara wrote: “We started our @bbcstrictly journey together back in 2013, and now for the 20th year anniversary, we’ll both be back on your screens once again!

“I am so happy the country gets to enjoy the smiliest man in showbiz once again.”

Manrara has been announced as one of the hosts of Strictly’s spin-off show, It Takes Two.

Škorjanec is a 19-time champion in Ballroom, Latin and Ten dance.

He and his celebrity partner Abbey Clancy raised the Glitterball in his debut year on the show in 2013.

In 2017 he was runner up with partner Gemma Atkinson.

His other partners have included model Daisy Lowe, Call the Midwife actress Helen George and Dragon’s Den star Sara Davies.

Strictly’s executive producer, Sarah James, said everyone was “so thrilled” that Škorjanec was returning.

“During his nine series he was a firm favourite with viewers across the country, I’m sure everyone is in for a treat as he joins us to entertain the nation for a very special 20th year of the show,” she added.

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