In an exclusive new photoshoot and interview together in this week’s HELLO! magazine, ten of Strictly Come Dancing's much-loved professionals talk of their strong bond and how the news of Dame Darcey Bussell's departure came completely out of the blue so no one had the chance to bid her a proper farewell. "It was a big shock," Karen Clifton tells HELLO!. "It will be strange not seeing Darcey as she joined at the same time as I did. I still can’t believe she isn't going to be there." Gorka Márquez adds: "No one knew she was going… it was a surprise to everyone." Oti Mabuse – whose name is already in the mix for who might replace Darcey – describes her as, "an incredible dancer". "What she brought to Strictly was so special. Her replacement has to be completely different from what we have had, but someone who has the nurturing nature of Darcey."
The Strictly pros are getting ready for their new tour
When asked if she would consider taking the job, she tells HELLO! during rehearsals for the forthcoming Strictly Come Dancing: The Professionals UK touring show, "I love being a dancer and I enjoy creating and choreographing and I think I love that part more. Strictly is the biggest show on television so it’s a big deal for anyone who gets it. They need to know what they are doing."
Strictly Come Dancing pros talk to HELLO!
To read the full story, pick up the latest copy of HELLO!, out Monday 29 April
Strictly The Professionals UK Tour 3 May-2 June, visit: strictlytheprofessionals.com