Strictly Come Dancing is a judge down after it has been announced that Dame Darcey Bussell won’t be returning for the new series.
The dancer joined the show seven years ago and her decision to leave the show will be a shock to viewers.
Bussell said, “It has been a complete privilege for me to be part of Strictly, working with such a talented team. I have enjoyed every minute of my time and will miss everyone from my fellow judges, the presenters, the dancers, the musicians, the entire back stage team, and especially the viewers of the show, who have been so supportive. I am not leaving because of any upset or disagreement at all, I am just stepping away to give more focus to my many other commitments in dance, after seven truly wonderful years that I can’t imagine having gone any better.
I know I will miss being part of this unique show and the fact that it celebrates dance is something I am so passionate about. I hope that I may be very lucky to be asked back again one day”.
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, said: “It has been an absolute honour to have Darcey, a national treasure and British dance icon, bring her passion for dance and her graceful presence to the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel for seven consecutive years. She will be thoroughly missed by us all and will of course remain part of the Strictly family in the future.”
Suzy Lamb, MD, Entertainment & Music, BBC Studios said, “We feel very fortunate to have had Darcey on the Strictly judging panel for seven glorious years. Her exceptional knowledge of dance and generous spirit have helped many a celebrity keep dancing. Darcey is much loved by the entire Strictly family and I know will be missed in both the ballroom and in sitting rooms across the country.”
It’s not clear yet if another judge will take her place or if the panel will be reduced to three judges.
We’ll bring you more news as we get it. Strictly Come Dancing returns this autumn to BBC One.