Strictly stars Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara smiling at events

Aljaz Skorjanec hits back at stay-at-home dad backlash: ‘All I ever want to be is a good dad and husband’

Aljaz and wife Janette Manrara became parents to daughter Lyra last year

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Former Strictly star Aljaz Skorjanec has addressed the stigma over being a stay-at-home dad.

Aljaz, who has daughter Lyra with his wife and fellow dancer Janette Manrara, stepped away from Strictly Come Dancing in 2022.

Now, Aljaz has put his work commitments on hold to focus on their little girl. In a new interview, Aljaz said both he and Janette have “always dreamed of being hands-on parents” and he’s always dreamed of “being there fully”.

Strictly stars Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec smiling at movie premiere
Janette and Aljaz became parents last year (Credit: Cover Images)

Strictly star Aljaz Skorjanec on daughter Lyra

Aljaz went on to say that he and Janette “put the cards on the table and made the decision” that he would step away from his work for a bit. He said it “made the most sense”.

He told OK! of the stigma around stay-at-home dads: “So many people give their opinions but I don’t pay much attention to it and I don’t care for it, either. My sole focus is the wellbeing of Lyra and Janette and making sure they’re OK, that we’re OK.”

Aljaz added: “Our work is very different to a typical nine-to-five job, so sometimes we have to go on tour and live in hotels, and not many family dynamics work that way. We don’t pay attention to any negativity – we are both so focused on making sure that the little one has the best possible early days of her life.”

Strictly stars Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara walking with pram
Aljaz has hit back at backlash over stay-at-home dads (Credit:

The star also told Heat magazine of the backlash: “I’ve always been good with not reading the comments. I feel like if you work in the world of entertainment, because of my talent, now all of a sudden my private life is there for everyone to judge or have an opinion on. All I ever want to do is to be a good dad and husband, and that to me is a priority and I’m going to do that in the best possible way that I know how to do.”

So many people give their opinions but I don’t pay much attention to it.

The dancer is also approaching his first Father’s Day on June 16. He told OK! that he wants to “spoil Janette and Lyra even more that day” even though it should be about him.

Aljaz insisted that “just being there and being next to them is the best present”.

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A post shared by Janette Manrara (@jmanrara)

Aljaz and Janette

The couple became parents last year when they welcomed Lyra. The little girl will turn one soon. But Janette and Aljaz recently threw Lyra a party as they visit her family in Miami.

Janette gushed on Instagram alongside pictures of Lyra’s mermaid-themed party: “We won’t be together for her actual birthday. But I wanted my family to feel a part of her special day.

“How incredible that we were able to celebrate with her grandparents, great grandmothers, aunts and uncles, and all her cousins! Feeling grateful for having Lyra grow up so loved.”

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Read more: Janette Manrara on ‘rows’ with husband Aljaz after welcoming daughter Lyra: ‘To say we don’t argue would be an absolute lie’

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Rebecca Carter
Associate Editor (News)