STRICTY Come Dancing pro Nikita Kuzmin was spotted on a night out with a mystery woman shortly before his split with fellow dancer Nicole Wirt was revealed.
The Ukrainian, 24, – who is paired with Paralympian Ellie Simmonds on this year's BBC show – appears to have fallen foul of the programme's infamous curse after The Sun revealed the duo had split after five years together.
The break-up saw a series of cryptic Instagram messages posted by Nicole, who lives in Germany, unearthed.
Now, The Sun's exclusive images show Nikita trying to disguise his identity as he left influencer-favourite bar Menagerie in the heart of Manchester.
The professional dancer – a six-time Latin and ballroom National Champion in Italy – completely covered his head and face with his black leather jacket.
Clearly a little camera shy, he gazed through the fabric to determine his route as he walked with the mystery female.
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For her part, she continued to stride along the street confidently in her black heels and red dress.
Braving the Manchester chill she went tights-free but wrapped up in a black jacket.
She left her blonde hair flowing over her shoulders in loose waves and flashed a wry smile at Nikita's antics as she turned her head towards him.
Meanwhile, the Strictly ace was dressed in chic all-black, matching his jacket to his trousers and trainers.
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This week, The Sun exclusively reported how Nikita and Nicole had split – prompting the dancer to move out from his London flat.
The pair had been an item since 2016 with Nicole primarily based in Germany at Strictly judge Motsi Mabuse's dance school.
Yet only a few weeks into the new Strictly Come Dancing series Nikita is said to have called time on their longstanding romance.
Now Instagram posts from Nicole published just last month have been unearthed, along with a series of telling messages.
One read: "Letting go of things that no longer serve you, will set you free #letthesunshinein."
In July 2021, it was announced that Nikita would be joining UK Strictly as a pro dancer.
About the role, Nikita said: "I've always been amazed by the magic Strictly Come Dancing brings.
"No matter what country I have found myself living in, I've never missed a chance to watch it.
"And joining it as a professional dancer is my big chance to make some magic on the most famous dance floor. I can't wait to give it my all!"
In his first season on the show he was paired with Tilly Ramsay, with the pair finishing in sixth.
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In 2022 he is now partnering Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds.
In the 2022 series, he will be joining professional dancers Amy Dowden, Dianne Buswell, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova, Jowita Przystal, Nancy Xu, Neil Jones and Kai Widdrington.
The Sun Online has gone to Strictly for comment.
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