Inside Strictly star Ugo Monyes family life with adorable daughters after split from wife

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Ugo Monye has swapped his rugby boots for dancing shoes as he prepares to dazzle the judges on Strictly Come Dancing 2021.

The former England rugby international has made a name for himself in sports presenting, but not much is known about the star's life away from the limelight.

Now a sports pundit, Ugo has been in the industry since 2002, but retired from Rugby back in 2015 as he settled down.

However, Ugo's marriage has recently made headlines as he and ex-wife Lucy have just announced their split, only days before Strictly is set to air on BBC1.

The buff sportsman is set to join Tom Fletcher, Robert Webb, AJ Odudu, John Whaite, Rhys Stephenson, Sara Davies, Katie McGlynn, Dan Walker, Tilly Ramsay, Greg Wise, Nina Wadia, Rose Ayling-Ellis, Adam Peaty and Judi Love in this year's Strictly Come Dancing lineup.

Here's all you need to know about Ugo including his career, family life and marriage…

Who is Ugo Monye and how old is he?

Ugo Monye is 38 years old and hails from Islington, North London.

The former rugby hunk has been a star athlete since his early years, beating records in the 100m sprint as soon as he turned 18.

After signing for the Harlequins in 2002, his career went from strength to strength, as he made a whopping 241 appearances for the club, scoring 89 tries and winning a Premiership before making his debut for the England squad in 2008.

Since stepping away from the sport in 2015, Ugo has hosted rugby coverage for the likes of BT Sport and ITV as well as the BBC 5 Live Rugby Union Weekly podcast.

Earlier this year in July 2021, it was announced that Ugo would be a new team captain on BBC One's A Question of Sport.

Who is Ugo's ex-wife Lucy, when did they marry and why did they split up?

Ugo wed his soon-to-be-ex-wife Lucy back in 2016, after they were introduced through a mutual friend in 2014.

The pair enjoyed a five year marriage, but went public with their split on September 11, only days after the former England player lost his father to prostate cancer.

32 year old Lucy still has a strong relationship with Ugo and will always be close as they share two children together.

Speaking to The Sun about his split, he said: "It's been hard. At times things have seemed a bit overwhelming but it's been a tough period for us both.

"In some relationships there is a moment, a 'thing', that breaks the couple. It can be an exterior influence. It can be anything."

However, he clarified that: "But with us, it was a number of things. We weren't in a volatile relationship, we never hated each other and there was no third party.

"Forget the Strictly curse – it's the COVID curse! We ended up where we ended up."

The sportsman continued to gush over his former partner, making it clear there is no bad blood: "It's been a difficult, multi-faceted situation but there is no animosity. We've got two incredible young girls who we love so much.

"So our focus is very much on the kids, protecting and fostering this amazing family unit."

He ended: "It will take more work, of course, but Lucy and I are in a good place. We've even been discussing the idea of going on holiday as a family next summer.

"Lucy is an amazing person and an incredible mum".

How many children do Ugo and Lucy have together?

Lucy and Ugo have two children together, daughters called Phoenix and Ruby.

Phoenix is four years old, and Ruby is one.

Ugo regularly posts snaps with his daughters on Instagram, as it looks like they're also into their sports.

Phoenix is pictured training in gymnastics in one of her father's posts, so we could be looking at a future Olympian.

What has Ugo said about appearing on Strictly Come Dancing?

The sports star told the BBC: "What a dream come true! Strictly is the biggest entertainment show on TV and I can’t wait to show everyone I’ve got more than just dad dancing moves.

"My two beautiful daughters never had a chance to see me on the rugby pitch, so to know they can watch me waltzing and twirling every week is really special to me."

He added: "I love an outfit at the best of times, so bring on the sequins!”

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