Dancing On Ice pro Alex Demetriou has been fired from the show after he grew close to his celeb partner Maura Higgins, a source claims.
The dancer's marriage with Carlotta Edwards crumbled and she returned to Canada as he danced with Maura in the last series.
He has been kicked off the show by ITV bosses in a bid to save the show's family image, it is claimed.
It is alleged bosses reckon Alex, 29, shouldn't be paired with a celebrity in the new series which will air in the winter.
A source told The Sun: "Producers have embarked on a cull and are desperate not to gain a reputation for a show curse like BBC rival Strictly Come Dancing.
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"They want to keep the focus of the show on the ice and the marriage rumours surrounding Alex and Carlotta weren’t very on-brand for the family-friendly series.
"They want it to come back bigger and better than ever next year and could do without any bad tastes from the last drama."
According to Alex, Carlotta, 30, was "uncomfortable" at how close he and Maura were.
Alex said after their split: "Maura and I have never hid the fact we are close as friends.
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"I think Carlotta found it hard to see me close, yet so professional, with Maura. It had an impact on her."
In April Alex had confirmed his marriage was over when he wrote on Instagram: "I'm sorry I have been quiet on social media recently but it's been a tough time personally for me.
"Carlotta and I have separated.
"Although it saddens me that we can no longer be together, I feel this is best for the both of us.
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"I'm looking forward to what the future will bring but in the meantime let's all stay home and stay safe."
Following her split from Curtis, Maura vowed to still be friends with Alex, despite romantic claims surfacing.
She said: "We have such a laugh, and we're still going to be friends. No matter what's said, I'm not going to be afraid to hang out with him."
Daily Star Online has contacted ITV for comment.
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