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Saturday 24th August 2019

Pasha Kovalev ‘quit Strictly because girlfriend Rachel Riley feared show’s curse’

She also apparently thought he was 'underpaid'

Pasha Kovalev reportedly quit Strictly Come Dancing because his girlfriend Rachel Riley was worried about the show's curse.

The dancer, 39, announced on Wednesday that he's decided to leave the show after eight years, saying he's ready to "find a new challenge".

However, The Sun claims that Pasha decided to part ways with the show because Countdown presenter Rachel feared becoming a victim of the show's so-called 'curse' and thought he was being "underpaid".

Pasha apparently quit Strictly to focus on his relationship with Rachel (Credit: Martin Evans /

Read more: Pasha Kovalev quits Strictly Come Dancing

A source told the publication: "Rachel is adamant Pasha is being paid far less than his hours deserve.

"Strictly has a particularly gruelling schedule and when you weigh that up against his pay packet, she feels it’s not worth it.

"Pasha isn’t one of the more unionist dancers who push back at producers when they’re working 18 hour days. He just sees it as part of the job."

Ent Daily has contacted reps for Pasha and Rachel for comment.

The couple began dating a year after they competed on the 2013 series.

The couple began dating a year after they competed on the 2013 series (Credit: FameFlynet)

In November last year, Rachel admitted she doesn't watch Russian pro dancer Pasha - who was partnered with former Pussycat Doll Ashley during last year's series - on the show.

Rachel is adamant Pasha is being paid far less than his hours deserve.

"It’s kind of left its mark," Rachel confessed to the Radio Times. "It just makes me feel nervous – so I make myself busy when it’s on. I leave Pasha to it!"

Meanwhile, Pasha announced yesterday that he's decided to quit the BBC show.

In a statement shared to his Twitter page, he said: "After scoring 93 perfect tens, reaching four finals and lifting the Glitter Ball, it’s time for me to find a new challenge so I’ve decided to make this my final season on Strictly.

"I’ve had 8 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."

A post from Strictly's official Twitter account also expressed their sadness to see Pasha go.

They said: "Sadly after eight incredible series, the brilliant @PashaKovalev has decided to leave #Strictly.

Read more: Kevin Clifton assures fans he's not quitting Strictly

"Pasha, from all of us, thank you for your amazing choreography and routines over the years.

"You’ll be sorely missed!"

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