Strictly Come Dancing fans have been left in shock after popular judge Darcey Bussell announced her decision to step down from her role on the BBC One dance show. Since then, everyone has been guessing as to who will replace the former ballerina, and in the midst of it all, former contestant Seann Walsh has joked that he will be the one sitting in the judge's chair next series. Taking to Twitter, the comedian wrote: "Although sad to hear Darcey Bussell has stepped down as a judge on Strictly, I am happy to announce I will be replacing her for the next series. Cannot wait! Keep daaaancing." Fans were quick to comment, with one writing: "This made me laugh out loud on the train," while another said: "If only this were true!" A third added: "You are so funny!"
Strictly contestant Seann Walsh has joked that he will replace Darcey Bussell as a judge
Earlier in the month, Seann was pictured with the show's talent executive Stefania Aleksander, and the rumour mill started swirling. The Sun had reported that the pair had been getting close, but the BBC One dance show have since responded to this, claiming that they are simply friends. A spokesperson said: "It is the job of a Talent Executive to maintain relationships with contestants both past and present and any suggestion that this is anything other than a working relationship is not true. Strictly is a global brand that operates all year around."
MORE: Who will replace Darcey Bussell on Strictly Come Dancing 2019?
Seann appeared on the show with pro dancer Katya Jones
Seann hit the headlines during his time on Strictly after being photographed kissing his dance partner Katya Jones. After the photos were released, both Seann and Katya publicly apologised, and while Katya's husband Neil Jones forgave his wife, Seann's girlfriend Rebecca Humphries ended their relationship. Seann has since kept a low profile, but has made a few appearances on chat shows including The Jonathan Ross Show, and is concentrating on his stand-up comedy.
Darcey's real replacement is yet to be announced
Darcey's replacement, meanwhile, is still yet to be announced, with former Strictly pros Karen Hardy, Ian Waite and Brendan Cole all rumoured to be in the running, along with popular pro dancers Anton du Beke and Oti Mabuse – following her success as a team captain on The Greatest Dancer. Darcey 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 backstage team, and especially the viewers of the show, who have been so supportive."
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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." Darcey 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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