Fans console Marian Keyes as author mourns Pasha Kovalev’s Strictly departure

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Marian Keyes mourned Pasha Kovalev’s departure from Strictly Come Dancing (Joel Ryan/PA)

Fans have been forced to console Marian Keyes after the distraught author learned of Pasha Kovalev’s departure from Strictly Come Dancing.

In a string of increasingly frenzied tweets the Irish novelist and non-fiction writer mourned the loss of her favourite professional.

Keyes – an ardent fan of the BBC One show – took to Twitter to describe the news of Kovalev’s exit as “HORRIFIC”.

Responding to her fans, she published a series of tweets describing the Russian Latin and ballroom dancer as “little Pasha”.

She said: “I’m SO SAD. Genuinely so so sad! He made me so happy always.

“His Little Pasha dimple, his little Pasha Russian accent, his little Pasha kindness to his partners, his little Pasha choreography, his little Pasha being gas on It Takes Two and most of all HIS LITTLE PASHA FACE!!!!!”

Keyes, 55, added that she hoped Kovalev and his partner, Countdown presenter Rachel Riley, were now “Living Their Best Lives”.

She said: “I’ll tell you something and I sound pathetic AND like a stalker (both true) but I just want him to be happy. I’m sincere about this.

“If he’s happy and him and his Brainy Rachel are Living Their Best Lives, then I can live with it.”

Strictly fans have enjoyed Keyes’ commentary on all things related to the show, and were on hand to offer emotional support.

One asked whether they needed to create a support group for the author, adding: “I’m not sure she will cope.”

Another asked Keyes to promise not to abandon the show in the wake of Kovalev’s departure.

They wrote: “Promise us all you will still watch & give full commentary – it won’t be the same viewing experience without you AND your man Pasha #MarianToStay”

Keyes promised to do no such things and, signing off, told fans the “shock has been grave” before thanking them for helping her deal with the news.

Kovalev, 39, will not return for this year’s series of the BBC One programme but will appear on the Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals tour this spring.

The Russian competed in four finals and lifted the glitterball trophy once, with Love Island host Caroline Flack in 2014.