'Strictly' dancer Neil Jones says he was homeless for a period during his teenage years

Yahoo Celebrity UK
Neil Jones arriving at the red carpet launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2019, held at BBC TV Centre in London, UK. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
Neil Jones arriving at the red carpet launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2019, held at BBC TV Centre in London, UK. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

Strictly Come Dancing professional Neil Jones has shared that he spent some time living on the streets for a "short period" during his teenage years.

The dancer briefly opened up about his experience as he posted to Instagram on Tuesday in support of a homeless charity.

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The 38-year-old wrote: "As you know during lockdown I’ve been lucky to be able to move into my very own flat unfortunately due to COVID-19 many charities have been hit hard and one which was hit hard... @depaul_uk youth homelessness charity who support vulnerable people who move from place to place, staying on sofas/floors often in unsafe situations facing physical, mental and even sexual abuse and exploitation.

Read more: Arlene Phillips urges Strictly to feature same-sex couples

"Not many people know but as a teen I found myself at one point sleeping on the streets for a short period but because of a charity like DePaul I was able to find a place to stay."

Jones went on to encourage his followers to spend a night sleeping somewhere in their homes other than a bed and donate to the charity as part of the 'Sleep Bedless' campaign.

He accompanied the message with a photo of himself in a sleeping bag.

Dancers Neil and Katya Jones pose for photographers upon arrival at the National Lottery Awards, in central London, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. (Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP)
Dancers Neil and Katya Jones pose for photographers upon arrival at the National Lottery Awards, in central London, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. (Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP)

Jones has been part of the Strictly family since 2016 and took part in the competition with a celebrity partner for the first time in 2019 when he was paired with footballer Alex Scott.

He split from wife and colleague Katya Jones last year after six years of marriage.

Their relationship had been the subject of much discussion the previous year after his wife was spotted kissing her dance partner comedian Seann Walsh.

On announcing their break up, they insisted they would remain close as they now loved each other “in a different way as friends”.

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