Janette Manrara opens up on moving out of family home for Strictly ‘Would’ve been hard!’
Strictly: Janette Manrara on 'sacrifice' made for the show
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Janette, 37, and Aljaz, 31, are best known for being members of the Strictly Come Dancing professional line-up. Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and in order to be partnered with different celebrities, the husband and wife had to spend weeks apart to ensure all social distancing measures were adhered to on the BBC show. However, in a recent interview on ITV’s Lorraine, the couple explained how it was Janette who had to move out and the reason why she wanted to remove herself from their shared environment.
Last year’s series of the dancing programme saw Aljaz partnered with Radio 1 presenter Clara Amfo, 36, and Janette coupled up with singing sensation HRVY, 22.
HRVY and Janette made it all the way to the final in December, meaning she and Aljaz were separated for the entire series.
However, they were able to have socially distanced conversations when they saw each other on Saturdays for the live shows.
It was the longest time the duo had been apart since they met many years ago before getting married in 2017.
Speaking to television veteran Lorraine Kelly, 61, about their separation, Janette said: “Aljaz was kind enough to let me move out.”
“Because I thought, ‘If I stay home and just see pictures of us all over the house it would be really hard to stay,'” she continued.
“Do you know what? It was a very small sacrifice in comparison to what so many people have been doing over the last year.
“Specifically those who are on the front line, working non-stop for hours so for us, a couple of weeks not together but still dancing, it was completely worth it.”
Aljaz added he had “never seen Janette happier” than when they were living apart.
Never seen Janette happier
The 77-day separation period isn’t the only hurdle the couple have had to overcome in their relationship as the beginning of their romance got off to a rocky start.
Aljaz fell in love with his wife the moment he first saw her although the feelings were not reciprocated straight away.
Speaking on Loose Women earlier this year, Janette’s husband said it was “wasn’t easy” to admit but their relationship wasn’t plain sailing.
The professional dancer added: “From my side, it was love at first sight and from Janette’s side it definitely wasn’t.”
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Janette chuckled away but they’ve been happily married for four years now and although they were separated last year, the professional dancer said they understood the sacrifice they had to make.
“If we had to, we absolutely would because I think Strictly Come Dancing was such a necessity, I think for all of us to have a bit of escapism and just a bit of joy in our lives on our tellies on Saturday nights.
“If we had to do it again, we’d do it again with our eyes closed, because we were just so grateful to be able to dance and to perform and to make people happy.”
Having been together for over a decade, the pair are now looking forward to becoming parents as they’ve spoken out on their baby plans.
“I think what Aljaz and I kind of discovered in the first lockdown and being separated is how much we really are a team, and that when we do decide to have children we are more than ready,” Janette explained.
“Because we really, really do love and support each other, and I think for any newcoming parent or people that are considering becoming parents, the most important thing is that mum and dad have this kind of unity and really feel like they are going to go at this together.
“And I think Aljaž is going to be the most incredible dad! So that’s kind of the realisation that we both made that when the time is right we are going to be more than ready,” she told the Loose Women panel.
Strictly Come Dancing is scheduled to return later this year on BBC One. Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV.
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