8 celebrities who quit Strictly Come Dancing

These are the celebrities who made shock exits from Strictly

Ainhoa Barcelona

Strictly Come Dancing has never shied away from controversy, and there has been plenty of tangos, tens and tears in its 17-year history! However, through the ups and downs, the BBC show has seen eight celebrities make shock exits.

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Over the years, celebrities have suffered various injuries which has meant they could no longer take part. There have been others who have had to pull out of the show for other reasons. We take a look at the stars who have bid farewell to their Strictly dream...

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Nicola Adams - series 18

Nicola was axed from Strictly last year. The decision came after her dance partner, professional dancer Katya Jones, tested positive for COVID-19. As part of the protocols outlined ahead of the previous series, this sadly meant that the couple were no longer able to take part in the competition. 

In a statement, Nicola said: "Hey guys! I'm absolutely devastated my Strictly journey has come to an end so soon. I had so much more to give and so many people to win this for! But I just want to say a huge thank you to Katya for being the best dance partner anyone could ask for. She pushed me way out of my comfort zone and it’s been an incredible experience.


Nicola Adams left the show last year

"I'm gutted to be out of the competition but in these unprecedented times and as frustrating as it is, the COVID measures in place are to keep everyone safe, and I'm doing what I can to help. I'm gutted to be out of the competition but in these unprecedented times and as frustrating as it is, the COVID measures in place are to keep everyone safe, and I'm doing what I can to help. 

Fortunately for the contestants this year, the change in restricitons meant that after Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden both tested positive for COVID-19, they only had to isolate for ten days, and the pair only missed out on week two of the competition.

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WATCH: Will Bayley breaks silence over shock Strictly exit

Will Bayley - series 17

Paralympic gold medallist Will Bayley sadly had to pull out of the BBC ballroom competition in 2019 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.

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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 came back for the 2020 series

Jamie Laing - series 17

Jamie suffered 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."

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Jamie was replaced by Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher, who went on to win the show 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."

Last year, the reality TV star was given a second chance and sailed through to the final week with his partner, Karen Hauer, but missed out on the trophy to Bill Bailey.


Will Young left the show in 2016

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."

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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 pulled out after her dad died

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 quit the series in 2016

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 was one of the stars who suffered an injury

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 was advised to leave the show by medics

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."

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