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Claudia Winkleman ‘apologises to Strictly’s Kristina Rihanoff over Ben Cohen remark’

Claudia Winkleman ‘apologises to Strictly’s Kristina Rihanoff over Ben Cohen remark’

It has been claimed the Strictly Come Dancing host had said the dancer’s relationship started with rugby star Ben Cohen while they were on the show in 2013; both Rihanoff and Cohen maintain their relationship began one year after being paired together.

“The couple I knew had got together were Ben and Kristina,” Winkleman said on Monday while recording an episode of The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan, to be aired tonight on Channel 4, Daily Mail diary editor Richard Eden said in his column.

It was reported Rihanoff threatened to take legal action and contacted Winkleman who then apologised in a message and said it was a “two-second moment”.

Winkleman allegedly said she thought she had been asked about who had found long-term love via Strictly Come Dancing.

Rugby star Ben Cohen and dancer Kristina Rihanoff

/ Jeff Spicer/Getty

It is unclear whether the comment will be cut from tonight’s show, Richard Eden said.

Channel 4 has been approached for comment.

The Standard has approached Claudia Winkleman and Kristian Rihanoff’s representatives for further comment.

Cohen, a rugby world cup winner, had been married to his wife Abby for 11 years before they divorced in 2016.

The pair have two twin daughters.

Cohen and Rihanoff have since had a daughter together after starting their love story together.

Cohen’s ex-wife Abby has said she regrets calling Rhianoff “a f***ing Russian dancer” amid the breakdown of the marriage.

In September 2021, Ms Cohen told New magazine: “At the time of the break-up, when hugely stressed, I once angrily referred to Ben’s partner as a ‘f***ing Russian dancer’ to a journalist hassling me. I regret that now.”

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