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Darcey Bussell reveals REAL reason she quit Strictly Come Dancing

The ballet dancer admitted that the decision didn't come easily

Emmy Griffiths

Strictly will broadcast its first live show on Saturday night, and Motsi Mabuse will be joining the judging panel to replace Darcey Bussel. But why did Darcey decide to leave the show?

Darcey Bussell opened up about why she decided to leave Strictly Come Dancing for the first time, admitting that it was "not a decision that came easily". The retired dancer, who announced her decision to leave the show after seven years back in April, told The Sun: "It is not a decision that came easily at all," she said. "But I knew I had the most amazing time for seven years and it is like pushing your luck to think that I could even do another seven years. So I just knew it was time for me to finish and to give that place for somebody else to judge on that wonderful show."

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Darcey opened up about leaving the show

She also opened up about her career as a ballet dancer before her role as a judge on Strictly, and admitted that she hoped her daughters don't just know her for the latter. She explained: "I do have boxes and boxes of memorabilia. I think it comes from everywhere you perform, as I have been so fortunate to perform around the world. I do it for my daughters, as I want them to remember me as a classical dancer and not just a judge on Strictly."

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Watch Darcey open up about Strictly without Len Goodman

READ: Giovanni Pernice reveals why Darcey Bussell's exit won't affect Strictly

Speaking about Darcey's exit, Strictly star Giovanni Pernice told HELLO!: "Strictly will always have a life beyond any of us. It was a shock when we heard about Len [Goodman] departing too – and I still miss him – but the show must go on." Karen Clifton added: "It was a big shock. 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." Rumour has it that Darcey may be replaced by Oti Mabuse, who opened up about the reports, explaining: "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."

MORE: Strictly star Anton du Beke talks the transformation that changed his life