Anthony Quinlan insists his relationship hasn't ended because of the ""Strictly" curse".
The "Emmerdale" actor recently split from professional dancer Dianne Buswell - who is partnered by Joe Sugg on this year's series of "Strictly Come Dancing" - but he dismissed suggestions closeness between the competing couple was a problem, claiming it was simply "distance" that drove them apart.
And Anthony is still "really good friends" with Dianne and hopes she and Joe go on to win the competition.
Speaking to the Daily Star newspaper, he said: "We're still really good friends - it's just distance played a part.
"There were all these rumours about the "Strictly" curse but it wasn't that.
"I'm actually rooting for Joe and Dianne. They're doing absolutely amazing in strictly and I still think the world of the girl.
"We were really close, it just wasn't meant to be."
The split confirmation came following reports the pair had ended things a few weeks ago.
A "Strictly" source previously said: "Everyone on set's been discussing how close [Dianne and Joe had] become. It did not go unnoticed by Anthony.
"They are quite a fiery pair and have been clashing a bit more than often lately.
"A couple of weeks ago they just decided enough was enough and ended things."
Despite the 29-year-old dancer's break up with the Dales star - who plays Pete Barton on the ITV soap - Dianne is said to be having "a lot of fun" on the programme.
The source said: "He's up north and she's down south and things just weren't working anymore so they've knocked it on the head despite being quite serious.
"She's having a lot of fun with the show at the moment and is enjoying spending time with her dance partner Joe."