Pride of Britain: Carol Vorderman and Ashley Banjo open the show
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Ashley Banjo, 34, shared on Instagram on Thursday that he and his childhood sweetheart have split after 16 years together. The now ex-couple have two children together whom they will continue to co-parent.
Throughout Ashley’s growing fame, and under the scrutiny of the public eye, the famed dancer has been accompanied by his now-estranged wife Francesca Abbott.
The pair first fell for each other when they were just teenagers and got married in 2015.
After over a decade of being together, two children and seven years of marriage, Ashley insisted their separation was not a spur-of-the-moment decision.
He shared on Instagram: “After much thought and consideration we both feel now is the time to share some personal news.
“Nearly 18 months ago we took the difficult decision to separate.
“After being together for over 16 years, since we were teenagers, this is not a decision that has been taken lightly.
“It has not been easy and the processing of the situation has not been fast by any means.
“But we feel that as we approach the new year it is the time to share this news with others.
“Sometimes after so many years people just move in different directions, but we do so lovingly and we continue to try and be both the best parents possible and the best of friends to each other.”
The dancer went on to note that they have put their children, Rose, four, and Micah, two, first in all of their decisions and still want to “give the very best of ourselves as parents”.
He wrote: “Our main focus will always be our beautiful children.
“Rose and Micah in a happy and healthy environment is the most important thing to both of us.”
Ashley also noted that neither he nor Francesca would be making further comments on their separation.
Francesca also posted the same emotional statement on her Instagram story.
Ashley catapulted to fame in the early 2000s by winning Britain’s Got Talent.
The 34-year-old was the leader of the dance troupe Diversity, who won the contest, even beating the famed singer Susan Boyle to get the top spot.
While Ashley was the face of Diversity, Francesca also works closely with the team as part of the management side.
Following their big win on one of the UK’s largest stages, the group toured around the country and both Ashley and his brother Jordan have embarked on entertainment careers too.
Most recently, Ashley has been announced as Simon Cowell’s temporary replacement on Britain’s Got Talent’s judges’ table, according to Belfast Live.
The iconic BGT judge reportedly had to pull out of the show following an injury he sustained while riding an electric bike.
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