Will Young has announced he has quit Strictly Come Dancing for "personal reasons". The 37-year-old singer said that he was leaving with "joy in my heart that I have been able to take part in one of the most loved shows on British television". He went on to praise his professional partner Karen Clifton, saying that the chance to work with her had been "the most wonderful thing".
In his statement, Will said: "To be a part of Strictly has been a long-time ambition of mine. As a performer, a viewer, and a fan of the show, to dance as a contestant was an experience I always hoped for. I have made some great friends, and am in awe of their performances week in, week out.
Will Young has confirmed he has quit Strictly Come Dancing for "personal reasons"
"I have found a creative partnership with Karen that has been the most wonderful thing to experience."
Will said that he would be "eternally grateful" to Karen for "her direction, talent and guiding me through three wonderful dances that I will be able to show my grandkids in years to come!"
He added: "Unfortunately, I am leaving the show for personal reasons. I leave with joy in my heart that I have been able to take part in one of the most loved shows on British television." The star did not elaborate further on why he was leaving the show.
The BBC confirmed the news in a statement, saying that it "fully respects" Will's decision and wishes him well.
The singer said he would be "eternally grateful" to partner Karen Clifton
Karen has since taken to Twitter, writing: "I'm so sad that Will has decided to quit the show and I know it wasn't an easy decision for him. It was great dancing with him, he was such fun to work with and I wish him all the best for the future."
Other members of the show have also taken to social media to express their sadness. Natalie Lowe, who is partnered with Greg Rutherford, tweeted: "@willyoung it's been an absolute dream working & getting to know u. your calm energy, smile & eyes are infectious and light up the room."
Danny Mac said: "Gutted to lose @willyoung from our team @bbcstrictly. We all fully support his decision and will miss him massively. All the best mate x."
Will and Karen had been due to perform the Viennese waltz to Say Something, by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera, on Saturday night. The show will proceed as normal with a results show on Sunday, when the third celebrity will be eliminated after the public vote.