Ashley Banjo & Wife Francesca Abbott Met Through Dance, So His New Show Makes Total Sense
Ashley Banjo is a dancer-producer extraordinaire, and the man who managed to lead dance troupe Diversity to victory in Britain's Got Talent back in 2009. Since then, he has had a stellar career, hosting Can't Touch This, choreographing a sell-out Diversity tour, and, most recently, featuring as a judge on Dancing On Ice. But many people may not know that Ashley Banjo and wife Francesca Abbott met through dance, and their story is so sweet
Francesca is a star in her own right. She works as a dancer and a talent manager, and was previously a member of dance troupe Out of the Shadows, The Sun reports. Francesca and Ashley have been together for 13 years, and Francesca revealed in June 2018 on Instagram that they used to go on dates to the cinema and Nandos. Ah... young love.
The newspaper reports that the couple married back in 2015 in their native Essex and, on Oct. 10 last year, Ashley posted an Instagram post to tell fans that the two were expecting a little Banjo! No, I'm not crying, you are. The loved-up pair often share photos with sentimental comments on Instagram. Francesca, who boasts a cool 21k following on the site, dubbed Ashley "[her] ultimate partner in crime," saying how much she loves him. She also revealed on Instagram that the two met through dance, which, given both of their careers, should not come as a shock to anyone.
When it comes to dating shows, you may think you've seen it all. From Blind Date to Dinner Date to First Dates — they all seem to blur into one. But now Ashley is hosting a new dating show with a fresh concept, and I suspect his own love story may have influenced it slightly. Flirty Dancing aims to help singles find love through dance, and in the promo video, Ashley talks about bringing back "old-school romance."
Flirty Dancing (which is, of course, a play on Dirty Dancing — one of the greatest love stories ever told) will see Ashley take two complete strangers and teach each half of the couple a dance routine. The catch is, they won't rehearse the dance together. Instead, the singletons will perform the routine for the first time when they first meet.
I know what you're thinking: can you really fall in love with someone based on whether they can pop or lock or pas de deux? Well, Ashley believes it will work. Speaking to the Radio Times, he said:
“In the real world you talk to somebody and they might get tongue-tied. They might say the wrong thing; nerves might make them a slightly different person. You make a judgment, but that judgment can be flawed because the person doesn’t really give you the best version of themselves in that moment. Whereas with this, I don’t really think there’s any hiding.”
Watching Flirty Dancing may make you cringe at first, as the contestants attempt to quite literally "put the moves" on one another, but it'll be exciting to see what dancing can do for those looking for love. Ashley's making the jump from choreographer to Cupid and, to be honest, I'm here for it.