stars-who-quit-strictly

Everyone who has quit Strictly Come Dancing - and why

These are the celebrities who made shock exits from Strictly

Ainhoa Barcelona

The competition is now halfway through and we've had plenty of tangos, tens and tears, so it's safe to say that this series of Strictly Come Dancing hasn't been without its ups and downs. In the show's 15-year history, seven celebrities have made a shock exit (yes, it's been that long!), with the most recent contestants leaving being Will Bayley and Jamie Laing this year, after both celebrities suffered an injury, meaning they could no longer take part.

But there have been others in the past who have had to pull out of the show for various reasons. We take a look at the celebrities who have bid farewell to their Strictly dream over the years...

Will Bayley - series 17

Paralympic gold medallist Will Bayley sadly had to pull out of the BBC ballroom competition this year after suffering a knee injury. During week six of the competition, it was announced that Will would not be performing due to suffering an injury during rehearsals, and being told he "absolutely could not dance". The following week it was then announced that the athlete had to pull out of the competition completely.

WATCH: Anton du Beke explains his side of the story after clashing with Shirley Ballas last weekend

On leaving the show, Will expressed his disappointment, saying: "I'm gutted my Strictly journey has had to come to an end. I've loved being part of the show, and am so grateful for the phenomenal support we have received." He continued: "I want to say a special thank you to Janette for believing in me and giving me the confidence to believe in myself. The things we achieved, from our Couple's Choice dance through to the lifts in our Salsa, will stay with me forever."

Jamie Laing

Sadly for Jamie Laing, suffering a foot injury during rehearsals for the launch show meant that he never took to the dancefloor to compete in the ballroom competition. At the time, Jamie expressed his sadness at having to pull out of Strictly before it had begun, stating: "I'm absolutely devastated that I’m unable to continue in the competition, I was so excited to hit the dance floor. I would like to wish the lovely couples all the very best and hope they enjoy their time on the show to the fullest."

MORE: Strictly's Karim Zeroual addresses claims he is romantically involved with partner Amy Dowden

Jamie was replaced by Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher, who has gone on to score high with partner Oti Mabuse. On the news of his replacement, the Made in Chelsea star offered Kelvin some words of encouragement. "You are going to rock the dancefloor," said Jamie. "I can't wait. Plus you have Oti [Mabuse] so kill it, good luck."

Will Young – series 14

Will surprised fans when, after finishing fourth in the leaderboard, he announced that he was quitting the show. The Leave Right Now singer thanked his professional dance partner Karen for the "wonderful" experience, saying: "I will be eternally grateful to her for her direction, talent and guiding me through three wonderful dances that I will be able to show my grandkids in years to come." Will, 39, added: "I leave with joy in my heart that I have been able to take part in one of the most loved shows on British television. Strictly truly is the most unique family and I thank them from the bottom of my heart." He went on, saying that although he will be a viewer, he will "keeeep dancing!"

Kelly Brook – series 5

The model sadly pulled out of the show after her father Kenneth, who was terminally ill with cancer, passed away in 2007. Kelly said she wanted to remain in the competition because it was what her dad would have wanted, but after struggling in rehearsals, she made the decision to quit. A BBC spokesperson said: "Kelly has done some training as she had hoped to continue with the show in his memory. However, understandably she has found it too difficult. "Kelly has been a fantastic part of the programme and she will be sorely missed by everyone on the show who would also like to express their deepest sympathy to Kelly and her family at this difficult time."

John Sergeant – series 6

The TV presenter bowed out of the competition in 2008, saying that winning would have been "a joke too far". John, who was paired with Kristina Rihanoff, said that dancing on the show was "a wonderfully enjoyable thing" but he knew that it was his time to step down. The political journalist had consistently appeared at the bottom of the leaderboard, receiving much criticism from judges, but the public kept voting to keep him in. "It's like when you decide when you leave a party, and the time to leave a party is before the fight starts, and I think that's really what's happened on this occasion," said John.

Jade Johnson – series 7

Great Britain long jumper Jade had to pull out of Strictly in 2009 after suffering a knee injury during rehearsals. The athlete had missed one week of live shows when she made the decision to withdraw from the competition entirely. "It's very emotional," said Jade, who said that her knee "popped" during a practice for the show. "Just sitting here is really hard for me. The knee is quite sore." She later claimed that the competition robbed her of a place in Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics. "Strictly has cost me my place in the ­Olympics," she said. "I thought the show injury had healed and I was ready to compete. Sadly it flared up just before the trials and made it ­impossible to get through them."

Jimmy Tarbuck – series 4

Jimmy, who was partenered with Flavia Cacace, had to exit the show in 2006 after doctors advised him to rest. The BBC supported his decision for the good of Jimmy's health. The comedian, who was in his sixties at the time, said that he was "absolutely devastated". "I really wanted to dance on the show this week but I have to take the advice of the doctors who have told me I need to rest," he said. "I would like to thank my wonderful partner Flavia who has taught me so much and been patient in trying to turn this old carthorse into a proper dancer! I will really miss training with her."

Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

More on: