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Strictly star forced to pull out of competition due to 'ill health'

We're sad to see them go!

strictly come dancing full cast 2021
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
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Strictly Come Dancing fans are bound to be devastated as Robert Webb and Dianne Buswell have been forced to pull out of the competition owing to "ill health".

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In a statement, Robert said: "I'm extremely sorry to have to announce that I’m withdrawing from Strictly Come Dancing due to ill health. Two years ago I had open heart surgery and although I believed I was fit enough to take on Strictly and its demanding schedule, it became clear that I had bitten off way more than I could chew for this stage in my recovery. I had begun to feel symptoms that led me to seek an urgent consultation with my heart specialist, and it was her view that it would be better for the sake of my health to step back from the show.

WATCH: Dianne Buswell gifts Robert Webb beautiful cake

"I'm proud of the three dances that Dianne Buswell and I managed to perform and deeply regret having to let her down like this. I couldn’t have wished for a more talented partner or more patient teacher, and it’s a measure of Dianne’s professionalism and kindness that I was able to get as far as I did. Thanks too to everyone at home who voted for us."

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He added: "It was always going to be a difficult mountain to climb (for one thing it’s made of glitter so it’s very skiddy) and I've been especially touched by the support from fellow heart patients. I think perhaps I was too eager to impress them.

"They will know that recovery doesn’t always go in a straight line, and I hope they're not too disappointed that I ran into the limits of my resilience much sooner than I'd hoped.

robert webb quickstep© Photo: BBC

Robert has been forced to pull out of the competition

"I leave knowing that Strictly viewers are in very safe hands and I'll be cheering for my brother and sister contestants all the way to Christmas. Despite this sad ending, it has been a genuine honour to be part of this huge, joyful and barking mad TV show. Long may it continue."

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Dianne said: "As a massive fan of Robert’s, I was delighted to find out that he was joining the Strictly family. On top of this, to find out he was my partner was the icing on the cake.

"We made a great team, worked hard and had a good laugh along the way. I am so proud of the three amazing dances we produced. I know Robert had a lot more to give to the competition but his health of course comes first and I wish him a speedy recovery. I feel lucky to have danced with him and to call him a friend."

dianne and robert© Photo: Instagram

The couple were a dream pairing

Although fans were devastated with the news, they sent the star heartfelt messages and agreed that his health needed to come first. "Sorry to hear but his health has to come first. At least he had the sheer joy of dancing to the Muppet song on prime time tv," noted one.

Another said: "All of the best for Robert. He did amazing and I'm so glad he listened to his body and his health professionals. Underrated trait/skill. Live to dance another day," and a third added: "Genuinely gutted about this but I know Robert's health has to come first - Dianne has done such an amazing job as his partner and I loved every dance they did."

The rest of the couples will return on Saturday night in their next bid to impress the judges and public and claim the Glitterball trophy.

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