strictly come dancing professionals on tour

Strictly pro dancers say final goodbye to Pasha Kovalev – see photo

Pasha will be missed!

Ainhoa Barcelona

The Strictly Come Dancing pros have said their final farewell to Pasha Kovalev, who is leaving the show after eight years. Over the weekend, Gorka Marquez gave fans a glimpse into Pasha's big send-off by posting a photo of the incredible cake they all tucked into. The three-tiered cake featured a glitterball trophy at the top and photos of the professional dancers stuck onto gold stars. "Congratulations on an amazing tour, Pasha you will be missed on Strictly," the message on the cake read.

Dianne Buswell, who was paired with Pasha throughout the professional tour, also paid tribute to her friend on Instagram, writing: "We did it! What a team, the cast and crew have all been so incredible thanks to everybody who came to watch and supported us. Pasha it was a pleasure working with you! Not only did I have the pleasure to dance the last show with you but Pasha was in the cast of my very first Burn the Floor tour 9 years ago, such a gentleman and he will be missed, we love ya Pasha @pashakovalev."

Pasha Kovalev was given a big send-off

The popular dancer announced his decision to quit the show after eight years in February. In a statement, he said: "After scoring 93 perfect tens, reaching four finals, lifting one glitterball, it's time for me to find a new challenge and so I've decided to make last year my final season on Strictly."

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Pasha added: "I've had five fantastic years, full of wonderful memories, thanks to the incredible partners, professionals and myriad of behind the scenes teams who all work to make Strictly the amazing production that it is. The biggest thanks go to all the members of the public who've supported me so much over the years – I look forward to seeing you on the Strictly Pro-Tour this spring, and for many future adventures to come!"

The Strictly pro tour has wrapped!

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Pasha, 39, has arguably the biggest adventure to come this December – the arrival of his first child. The TV star is expecting a baby with his long-term girlfriend Rachel Riley. Rachel announced the news last month, posing in front of the famous Countdown board, with the letters spelling out "R TINY MATE", which is an anagram of the word 'maternity', Rachel shared on Instagram: "Pash and I have a conundrum for you. You have till December to work it out! We're over the moon excited."

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