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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Jasmine Allday

Strictly's Neil Jones appears to make dig at show after being 'missed' from line-up

Strictly Come Dancing's Neil Jones appeared to make a thinly-veiled dig at the show during tonight's Halloween special.

The professional dancer found himself without a celebrity partner again this year. Since joining the show six years ago, he has only had two celebrity partners - EastEnders star Nina Wadia in 2021 and former footballer Alex Scott in 2019.

Neil is popular with the fans watching the show, and as he appeared in the VT for Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Kuzmin's Scooby Doo inspired Foxtrot, viewers begged to see more of him. However, they couldn't help but also notice what appeared to be a dig at the show and the BBC after he failed to get a celebrity partner again this series.

Neil featured in Nikita and Ellie's VT segment (BBC)

During the clip, Nikita and Ellie made a mini-movie where they were chased by The Phantom Shadows, one of the villains from the Scooby Doo cartoons. As they managed to pin them down, the person behind the mask was revealed to be none other than Neil, insisting he "would have got away with it if it wasn't for you pesky people and your foxtrot".

As they all walked away, Ellie asked Neil: "How's it been going Neil?"

And in what fans pointed out appeared to be a dig at his lack of screen time from not having a celebrity partner again this year, Neil replied: "Yeah they've been keeping me busy, a bit of this and that."

The pair danced a Scooby Doo themed foxtrot tonight (BBC)

Former Strictly professional James Jordan also weighed in on Neil's lack of a celebrity partner again this year.

"Very strange - such a shame they don’t use the talent we have in this country. Especially when he has the best pedigree. Nothing against the foreign dancers as my wife was one of them BUT too few home grown so why not Neil???" he shared.

Meanwhile, Neil previously admitted he feels "too old" at 39 to keep up with the other professionals.

He was the Phantom Shadows (BBC)

He told The Mirror in 2021: "All the other guys, like Gorka and Giovanni, they’re all young. Even while we’re doing the show and training, I still go to the gym in the morning as well ... I'm now the oldest of the male pros.

"I’ve stepped into Anton’s shoes now he’s gone to the judges. So I’m turning 40 next year and I just wanted to try and get myself in better condition. So I’ve got to be taking care of myself a lot more. I’m definitely being more active."

*Strictly Come Dancing returns on Sunday at 7.20pm on BBC One.

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