Neil Jones addresses Alex Scott’s battle with abuse as he says pair talk ‘all the time’

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Strictly Come Dancing professional Neil Jones, 38, said he is still in contact with football pundit Alex Scott, 36, who he danced with on the BBC show in 2019. The dancing duo were knocked out of the competition just before the semi-final, which was later won by Oti Mabuse and Kelvin Fletcher.

I send her little messages

Alex Scott

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, the dancer said the pair still exchange messages particularly about the latest football news.

He said: “Yeah we do, we talk all the time. She’s nice and busy, I’m always happy when I see her doing well with stuff, she knows it.

“Sometimes I’ll send her a little message with the football and I’m like, ‘Do you agree with that? Should that have happened? What do you reckon?’

“I send her little messages.”

Alex became the centre of racial abuse when she was rumoured to be taking over from Sue Barker on A Question of Sport last year.

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Long-serving host Sue said the BBC wanted to take the show in a “new direction” without her and team captains Phil Tufnell and Matt Dawson.

The football pundit was wrongly announced as the new anchor of the show by Gary Lineker on Twitter, however a new line-up is yet to be released.

Addressing the abuse his former dance partner received, he said: “It’s a life thing that when someone is doing well, there’s always going to be people there knocking them down.

“She’s so positive she just takes it on the chin and gets on with what she’s doing.

“To be fair, she is so good at what she does.

“There’s some good [female] pundits coming through but I said to her she’s one of the first main ones and she’s got so much experience in football, she’s not just asking the questions she really knows about it.

“I love football but I learnt so much just from being around her.”

Alex began her football career aged just 12 when she signed to Arsenal in 1992.

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She made 140 appearances for the English national team and also represented Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics.

In August 2018, she became the first female pundit on Sky Sports Super Sunday show.

Alex discussed abuse she had received throughout her career in a candid interview last year.

She said: “Every job that I’m linked to and every job that I’m going to be doing on screen for the next couple of years, I know the first thing people will be saying – a lot of it because it is already happening – it’s because I’m ‘ticking a box’.

“I came back from playing professional in America in 2012 just before the London Olympics, I was already thinking about my career after sport then.”

She added on the Women’s Health Going for Goal podcast: “When I look at my career in a couple of years’ time, I would love to get to a position how I view Gabby [Logan] or Clare [Balding].

“They are so well respected in their field, ultimate professionals.”

The ex Strictly star has also previously revealed she sought therapy when abuse had got to much for her.

To enter Neil’s dance challenge on Compete, click here.

You can also join in with Neil’s free 15 minute daily classes at 10am on his Instagram @mr_neiljonesofficial and his weekly Urban Ballroom classes via Zoom on @urbnyz.

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