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Strictly SHOCK! Darcey Bussell steps down as judge after seven years

Read the Strictly star's statement here

Emmy Griffiths

Strictly Come Dancing fans are in shock after a beloved judge has confirmed that she is stepping down as a judge since being on the hit BBC show since series 10. Dame Darcey Bussell confirmed that she had decided to leave the show on Wednesday, telling the BBC: "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."

Darcey has stepped down from the show

The former dancer denied that she'd had any sort of fall out with her fellow Strictly judges, Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood. She said: "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." She concluded: "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."

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Speaking about Darcey's exit from the show, Director of BBC Content Charlotte Moore 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." MD of Entertainment and Music, Suzy Lamb, added: "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." Her replacement has yet to have been announced.

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