Strictly Come Dancing legend James Jordan was left fuming over Neil Jones missing out on being partnered with a celebrity in new series for the fourth time in six years.
Neil never made the main line-up this year after BBC bosses brought in three new foreign dancers – Italian stallion Vito Coppola, Latin dance champion Michelle Tsiakkas from Cyprus and Chinese National Champion Carlos Gu.
James, 44, took to Twitter to express his frustration with the show, claiming the decision was ‘very strange’.
Not happy: Strictly Come Dancing legend James Jordan was left fuming over Neil Jones missing out on being partnered with a celebrity in new series for the fourth time in six years
A fan asked ballroom dancer James: ‘Why does Neil miss out again?’
James – who is married to fellow Strictly star Ola Jordan – replied: ‘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???’
Each year on Strictly, not all pros get a pairing as there are more professional dancers than celebrities. This year there are 20 pros and 15 celebs.
MailOnline has contacted BBC and Neil Jones’ representatives for comment.
On the side lines: Neil never made the main line-up this year after BBC bosses brought in three new foreign dancers
Angry: James, 44, took to Twitter to express his frustration with the show, claiming the decision was ‘very strange’
After joining Strictly six years ago, Neil – holds many titles including UK, British, Dutch, European and World Latin Champion – has been paired with EastEnders star Nina Wadia in 2021 and BBC sport’s Alex Jones back in 2019.
Neil is British but was born in Munster, Germany, and started dancing at a local ballet school at the age of just three.
The Strictly Come Dancing pairings were revealed on Friday’s pre-recorded launch show, postponed from its previously air date due to the Queen’s funeral.
Champion: After joining Strictly six years ago, Neil has been paired with EastEnders star Nina Wadia in 2021 and BBC sport’s Alex Jones back in 2019 (pictured with Kataya Jones)
The highly-anticipated launch show had originally been due to air on September 17, but had been postponed due to it being just two days before the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, which took place on September 19.
For the first time in Strictly history, there will be two same-sex pairings in one series, with reigning champion Giovanni taking to the dancefloor with DJ Richie Anderson.
Elsewhere, Helen Skelton will take to the floor with Gorka Marquez after becoming a last-minute addition to the show, while Katya Jones has been partnered with footballer Tony Adams.
Other stars to appear on the latest season include the likes of comedian Ellie Taylor and Coronation Street star Kym Marsh.
The fifteen couples have been working hard in the training room, with their debut performance set to air during the first Strictly live show on Saturday, with the judging panel scoring each dance out of 40.
The pairs will then deliver a second performance the following week when the public vote will open, before a results show on Sunday reveals which two pairs received the fewest votes and must compete in the dance off.
The judges will then decide which couple they would like to save, and the other pair will be eliminated.
Making history: For the first time in Strictly history, there will be two same-sex pairings in one series, with reigning champion Giovanni taking to the dancefloor with DJ Richie Anderson
Dusting off their paddles were returning judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke.
While viewers were no doubt sad not to see show favourites Aljaz Skorjanec and Oti Mabuse, who both quit Strictly Come Dancing earlier this year.
This series has also seen the introduction of four new professionals, European cup winner Vito Coppola, Chinese National Champion Carlos Gu, former Under 21 British National Champion Lauren Oakley and Latin dance champion Michelle Tsiakkas.
During Friday’s launch the four pros were officially introduced to viewers through a pre-filmed cinematic dance routine.
Campaign: It comes after James spoke out about Stoptober – a campaign supported by the NHS which urges smokers to join the thousands of people quitting this October
It comes after James spoke out about Stoptober – a campaign supported by the NHS which urges smokers to join the thousands of people quitting this October
The Strictly star revealed: ‘I consider myself a confident person in most areas of my life, but have always faltered with smoking, so thought I wouldn’t be able to quit. I smoked for 27 years.
‘My quitting journey has shown me that I am more capable than I thought, thanks to the support of my own family and friends and the professional help I sought.
‘Quitting smoking can improve your health, quality of life and save you money. I am so glad I took this step and had the chance to speak to the brilliant experts to give myself and others the confidence that quitting smoking, even if you’ve been smoking for decades, is possible.’
Strictly Come Dancing 2022: Who are the couples?
HELEN SKELTON AND GORKA MARQUEZ
Helen Skelton and Gorka Marquez
Celebrity’s age: 39
Profession: TV and radio broadcaster
Helen says: ‘I’m really excited to get stuck into a fun adventure. My family and friends have always loved the show and can’t wait for me to get started’
ELLIE SIMMONDS AND NIKITA KUZMIN
Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Guzman
Celebrity’s age: 27
Profession: Former athlete
Ellie says: ‘To be asked to be part of the Strictly family is just so exciting and I cannot wait, it’s going to so much fun.’
ELLIE TAYLOR AND JOHANNES RADEBE
Ellie Taylor and Johannes Radebe
Celebrity’s age: 38
Ellie says: ‘Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins! I’m absolutely over the moon to be a part of Strictly 2022!’
FLEUR EAST AND VITO COPPOLA
Fleur East and Vito Coppola
Celebrity’s age: 34
Fleur says: ‘I’m equally nervous and thrilled to be part of this year’s Strictly line up. I’m excited to learn new skills and I want to soak up every moment of this magical experience.’
JAMES BYE AND AMY DOWDEN
James Bye and Amy Dowden
Celebrity’s age: 38
Profession: EastEnders actor
James says ‘I’m not known for my shimmy or my twinkle toes – in fact my kids regularly laugh at my dad dancing but it’s an honour to be asked and I’m going to give it my best shot.’
JAYDE ADAMS AND KAREN HAUER
Jayde Adams and Karen Hauer
Celebrity’s age: 37
Jayde says: ‘I’ve been a massive fan of the show for years. I feel like I’m watching myself in a dream and I can’t believe I’ve manifested this.’
TYLER WEST AND DIANNE BUSWELL
Tyler West and Dianne Buswell
Celebrity’s age: 26
Profession: Radio DJ
Tyler says: ‘It’s a show that means so much to me and my family and I can’t wait to seriously shake a leg on that shiny dance floor… with a side of sequins.’
HAMZA YASSIN AND JOWITA PRZYSTAL
Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystal
Celebrity’s age: 35
Profession: Wildlife cameraman and presenter
Hamza says: ‘I am absolutely over the moon to be joining Strictly 2022. Never in a million years did I think I’d be on such a cool show.’
RICHIE ANDERSON AND GIOVANNI PERNICE
Richie Anderson and Giovanni Pernice
Celebrity’s age: 34
Profession: Radio presenter
Richie says: ‘This is a dream come true! I cannot wait to get in those sparkles and sequins and shimmy across the most famous dance floor in the world!’
KYM MARSH AND GRAZIANO DI PRIMA
Kym Marsh and Graziano Di Prima
Celebrity’s age: 46
Profession: Coronation Street star and presenter
Kym says: ‘I’m so delighted that this year they have! I’m a huge fan of the show and can’t believe I’m going to go from watching at home in my pyjamas to actually dancing in front of the judges in a glittery dress.’
MATT GOSS AND NADIYA BYCHKOVA
Matt Goss and Nadiya Bychkova
Celebrity’s age: 53
Matt says: ‘I’ve been reclusive, I come and work and then go back to America. I thought, it’s time for me to come home and get out of my own way’
MOLLY RAINFORD AND CARLOS GU
Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu
Molly says: ‘I already know it’s gonna be an experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait to meet the rest of the Strictly family I’ll be sharing it with.’
WILL MELLOR AND NANCY XU
Will Mellor and Nancy Xu
Celebrity’s age: 46
Will says: ‘I know it will be a huge challenge but that’s what life is all about. This is also my Mum’s favourite show and she’s had a really tough few years so I’m doing this is for her as well. Bring it on!’
TONY ADAMS AND KATYA JONES
Tony Adams and Katya Jones
Celebrity’s age: 55
Profession: Retired footballer and manager
Tony says: ‘To say I’m excited is an understatement – the lure of the sequins and the call of the salsa has me swapping my battered old football boots for a set of Strictly soft shoes’
KAYE ADAMS AND KAI WIDDRINGTON
Kaye Adams and Kai Widdrington
Celebrity’s age: 59
Profession: Television presenter
Kaye says: ‘I said I wanted to make the last year of my fifties memorable and i can’t think of a better way of doing it than showing the world my two left feet. Pray for me!’