BBC Strictly star Ellie Simmonds splits from childhood sweetheart after buying house together

Strictly Come Dancing's Ellie Simmons has reportedly split from her childhood sweetheart, Matt Dean.

The Paralympic swimmer and her long-term partner, who have known each other since they were toddlers, are said to be on good terms despite the break up.

Despite Ellie being a household name, especially after her appearance on Strictly last year, she and Matt have always kept their relationship away from the public eye. A source told The Sun: "Ellie and Matt have sadly split but it was amicable on both sides and there remains a lot of love there. They preferred to keep their relationship out of the public eye and it was the same with the break up, but both are doing OK."

After retiring from professional sports in 2021, Ellie and Matt bought a house together and Ellie has expressed her desire to have children in the future.

Since her retirement, Ellie has been busy with her documentary Finding My Secret Family and competing in 2022's Strictly Come Dancing. She previously credited Matt for encouraging her to participate in the popular dance competition show.

She shared: "'I was like shall I, shall I not. Then I spoke to my other half Matt, and he was like 'go for it Ellie, take that leap of faith, you don't know unless you try.' Now I'm so happy I said yes. As soon as I did we were bouncing around the kitchen like yay! Like little buzzing bees."

She also brushed off any Strictly curse rumours, saying: "It's just about dancing isn't it and having fun. Yes you're close with [your dance partner] and you get to know them and they're so funny. But no, it's just amazing to be part of it."

While on the show, Ellie danced with Nikita Kuzmin and they made it quite far in the series. They were eliminated in week seven after a dance-off against Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu.

Recently, she told The Mirror that she's excited for Nikita's new partnership with Layton Williams this year, even though she's a bit sad not to be competing herself. She expressed: "Do you know what, it's like I'm so happy for them Nikita's got Layton and I'm rooting for them all the way, I hope they win. Their first dance on Saturday night was phenomenal."

"But, also, it's a bit like, 'Oh I want it to be me again', so I've got a bit of excitement that I'm watching it but also sad that I'm not… yeah I'm like on board with the nerves and everything they're going through and all the hair, the makeup, the whole department behind the scenes. It's like a family and to see Nikita dance with someone else I'm like 'Ohh' but I'm so joyous as well because he's got Layton who is phenomenal."

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