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Kevin Clifton replaces Neil Jones last minute on Strictly Come Dancing - find out why

Will Bayley and Janette Manrara also didn't perform

neil jones kevin clifton
Jenni McKnight
Jenni McKnightUS Lifestyle Editor
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It was a sad blow to the start of Strictly Come Dancing's Halloween special as co-hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman revealed that Neil Jones was forced to pull out of Saturday's live show due to injury. The pro had been due to dance a Couple's Choice (Street/Commercial) to Ghostbusters with his partner Alex Jones but his injury meant that Strictly favourite Kevin Clifton was drafted in to replace him for the evening. Taking to his Instagram Stories after the news broke, he said: "I'm gutted tonight I won't be able to dance because I was injured earlier today but I know @alexscott2 will smash it tonight, she's worked hard all week and she's in safe hands with @kevinclifton."

kevin clifton strictly© Photo: Getty Images

Kevin Clifton was drafted in to replace Neil

It was also revealed that Will Bayley and Janette Manrara would not be performing as Will had sadly injured his knee during rehearsals and was told by medics that he "absolutely cannot dance". Speaking to Claudia, Janette said: "Obviously he's a bit gutted that he can't be here to dance the Jive that he loved all week but he's home, he's icing, and will come back stronger next week. He was so looking forward to be live, energetic Will but we're going to stay positive and move forward."

alex scott neil jones tango© Photo: BBC

Neil was 'gutted' to miss the Halloween special

MORE: Strictly's Neil Jones reveals awkward backstage moment with Dianne Buswell

Showing the moment the accident happened, Will revealed that he landed funny on his leg after attempting a jump. He said: "I thought I broke my leg as I never felt anything like it before, but luckily it’s not as severe as I thought. I need to recover now and come back stronger next week."

will bayley janette© Photo: BBC

Will and Janette also couldn't perform 

MORE: Oti Mabuse goes to extreme lengths to get Kelvin Fletcher ballroom ready

A Strictly spokesperson said: "Sadly, Will Bayley was injured during training and medics have said he cannot dance in the show this weekend. Under the rules of Strictly Come Dancing, Will has been granted a bye to next week. Separately, Alex Scott’s partner Neil Jones received an injury whilst training this morning. Kevin Clifton has stepped in to partner Alex in tonight’s show."

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