STRICTLY Come Dancing fans think they've worked out why Neil Jones has been left without a celebrity partner in the new series.
The pro dancer, 41, has only had two celeb partners in his eight years on the show, Alex Scott and Nina Wadia, finishing fifth and 15th, respectively.
He's once again partner-less and it's left fans speculating as to why in an online fan forum.
One person mused: "Apparently he helps a lot with choreography for other couples. Also he's having first baby soon isn't he? So can see why he wouldn't have partner this year."
Another agreed, again noting that Neil and his Love Island girlfriend Chyna Mills, 24, will soon become first time parents.
They said: "I feel like this particular year he may have opted not to have a celeb as his baby is on the way, but in previous years though, I really feel bad he's been benched 6/8 of his Seasons on the show."
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Others feel he's a perfect substitute, with someone posting: "I think he's likely to be the trouble shooter who can stand in if any of the male pro's get an injury, but that's just a guess."
"Classic backup goal keeper situation. Good payday, gets to participate in all the fun stuff, helps the career during the Strictly downtime but without the stress of Saturday and dealing with teaching etc."
He's not the only person to miss out this year.
The most surprising omission from the main cast is Nadiya Bychkova, who was partnered with Matt Goss last year.
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The 34-year-old isn't best pleased. She wrote on Instagram shortly after Saturday night's launch show: "
Following the first episode of the series, Nadiya told fans: “I’m sure you’ll understand that I'm disappointed not to be partnered with a celebrity on @bbcstrictly this series.”
The star continued: “It is an amazing show to be a part of and I’m still so excited for all the group numbers, performing with some of our music acts and much much more.
“I’m also looking forward to supporting my fellow pros and I want to wish all the couples the best of luck for the competition this year.”
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