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Darcey Bussell explains why she really quit Strictly Come Dancing

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

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Emmy Griffiths
Emmy GriffithsTV & Film Editor
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Darcey Bussell quit Strictly Come Dancing back in 2019 after six years on the show's judging panel, and was replaced by Motsi Mabuse. But why did she leave and what has she said about it?

MORE: Oti Mabuse clarifies Strictly exit rumours

She opened up about why she decided to leave Strictly for the first time, admitting that it was "not a decision that came easily".

Watch Darcey open up about Strictly without Len Goodman

The retired dancer, who announced her decision to leave the show after six years back in April 2018, told The Sun: "It is not a decision that came easily at all.

"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."

MORE: Strictly's Neil Jones films inside modern home with ex-wife Katya

Speaking about Darcey's exit, Strictly star Giovanni Pernice told HELLO! at the time: "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."

Fellow pro dancer 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."

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