Friday 23 August 2019

'We are being grown up about it' - DWTS finalist Johnny Ward confirms split with long-term girlfriend

Rachel Tracey and Johnny Ward outside RTE studios
Rachel Tracey and Johnny Ward outside RTE studios
Johnny Ward at the Peter Mark VIP Style Awards 2019 at the Marker Hotel, Dublin
Johnny Ward and Emily Barker dancing Credit: kobpix
Rachel Tracey and Johnny Ward in 2015
Johnny Ward and Emily Barker dancing a Foxtrot to ‘This Town’ by Niall Horan kobpix
Johnny Ward and Emily Barker dancing during show Eight of Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Johnny Ward and dance partner Emily Barker. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Dancing With The Stars finalist Johnny Ward (31) has described his split from his long-term girlfriend as "sad", but said they will remain good friends.

The former Fair City actor broke up with his live-in partner Rachel Tracey about two months ago - another apparent case of the so-called Strictly curse. He confirmed the split over the weekend as he attended the Peter Mark VIP Style Awards with dance partner and good pal Emily Barker.

"It is over and it is sad but you know what, we are being grown-up about it," he revealed. "We were together six years and of course it is a struggle. But we remain good friends and I spoke to her this week."

Johnny has now moved in with his mum Kathy to support her after she suffered a health setback in the wake of his dad's death in March. He said of his split from Rachel: "It was difficult because we had a car and the dog and we had to sort that out but we are good friends.

Johnny Ward, Emily Barker at The Marker Hotel, Dublin
Johnny Ward, Emily Barker at The Marker Hotel, Dublin

"It was a bad couple of months for me but I get to move back in with my mom. And after the death of my father, that is a real help and comfort to me."

Despite the death of Johnny's beloved father John at the start of March, the actor had to continue with the gruelling routine of Dancing With The Stars. He credits dancer Emily, who looked stunning at the Style Awards in a red floor-length gown, for being a rock for him.

At the event, she and Johnny were keen to catch up with their DWTS pals including Mairead Ronan, who was there with John Nolan alongside Holly Carpenter and Julien Benson.

Johnny and Emily will be reuniting again tomorrow for Today FM's Dance for Cancer, a cause clearly close to his heart. But despite having no shortage of female fans, Johnny says he is not dating anyone right now.

"I am not in a position where I'd want to date. It has been a very tough time for me and I am just getting on with things," he said.

Meanwhile, he will be reprising his role in Coppers: The Musical when it returns to the Olympia Theatre in July. He plays Dubliner Gino Wilde, who falls for an American girl, played by Michele McGrath.

Rachel Tracey and Johnny Ward in 2015
Rachel Tracey and Johnny Ward in 2015

Herald

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