DANCING on Ice pro Alex Demetriou has been axed after he grew close to celeb partner Maura Higgins.
And his wife Carlotta Edwards — who returned to Canada as their marriage crumbled — has left the hit skating show.
ITV bosses are keen to save the programme’s family image and have decided Alex, 29, should not be paired with a celebrity in the new series this winter.
His marriage fell apart after he bonded with Love Island’s Maura, 29, when paired up on the last series.
Carlotta, 30, was said to have felt “uncomfortable” at how close Blackpool-born Alex and Maura were, on and off the ice.
A source said: “Producers have embarked on a cull and are desperate not to gain a reputation for a show curse like BBC rival Strictly Come Dancing.
“They want to keep the focus of the show on the ice and the marriage rumours surrounding Alex and Carlotta weren’t very on-brand for the family-friendly series.
“They want it to come back bigger and better than ever next year and could do without any bad tastes from the last drama.”
Speaking in May, Alex admitted: “Maura and I have never hid the fact we are close as friends.
“I think Carlotta found it hard to see me close, yet so professional, with Maura. It had an impact on her.
“I told Carlotta we needed a break but I knew it was for good. I didn’t want to lead her on any more.
“She was shocked at how serious it was. I’m not going to lie — it was my decision. Clearly she was very upset.”
Despite the marriage split, Alex insisted he hoped that he and Carlotta could both appear on the next series.
But an ITV spokesman said yesterday: “Alex Demetriou will not be in our main cast line-up for Dancing on Ice when it returns.
“This does not mean it’s a final farewell and Alex remains a much loved member of the Dancing on Ice family with potential to return.”
on on or EMAIL [email protected]