Aljaz Skorjanec announces shock exit from Strictly Come Dancing

The dancer has released a statement

Aljaz Skorjanec has announced his departure from Strictly Come Dancing following nine years on the BBC show. 

MORE: Strictly's Aljaz Skorjanec shares emotional message ahead of family milestone

The 32-year-old revealed that he made the decision "a little while ago" and while he didn't explain his reason for exiting the show, said that he has "exciting stuff" planned for the future.

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WATCH: Janette Manrara reveals bittersweet reason behind career move

In a statement released to his Instagram page on Monday morning, the dancer wrote: "On a beautiful sunny day in May 2013 one phone call changed my life forever!

"It went like this... we would like to offer you a position on @bbcstrictly as a professional dancer. A dream became a reality and it was the biggest opportunity for a 23 year old boy from Slovenia. It didn’t matter how many beautiful ballrooms I performed in during my competitive career, stepping onto the sacred Strictly floor was the most nervous I had ever been.

MORE: Janette Manrara reveals 'really special' wedding anniversary plans with Aljaz Skorjanec

Exclusive: Janette Manrara reflects on heartbreaking sacrifices her parents made

"A little while ago I made the tough decision that Strictly 2021 would be my last. The show has given me an opportunity and freedom to create and express myself in front of millions of people every weekend for the last 9 years. The love and support I got from the team of producers was second to none. Louise Rainbow, Sarah James, Kim Winston, Jack Gledhill are just a few of the unsung heroes behind the success of the show - I am forever grateful to them!"

Aljaz shared the news on Instagram

He continued: "Being a part of a group of professionals that inspire and push you to be better every step of the way is humbling and I will carry that inspiration with me forever. Every year the lineup of dancers would change but one thing stayed the same, WE WERE THE BEST! And this is one thing that I know will never change on Strictly!

"Strictly also has the BEST backstage team - the hair and make-up team, costume department, lighting, sound, props and special effects, camera operators… THANK YOU!

"My beautiful partners - Abbey Clancy, Alison Hammond, Helen George, Daisy Lowe, Kate Silverton, Gemma Atkinson, Emma Weymouth, Clara Amfo and Sara Davies.

Aljaz's move comes a year after Janette's departure

"It's hard to put into words how many beautiful memories we have had. I LOVE YOU ALL!"

The Strictly pro then went on to pay a sweet tribute to his wife, Janette Manrara, who left the show last year to present It Takes Two alongside Rylan Clark. 

Aljaz wrote: "To my bucka.. from picking songs, creating stories and choreographing steps we always did it as a team. Your talent and selflessness knows no bounds. We were dating when we started together on the show and now we are husband and wife. We got to perform with Andrea Bocelli, Michael Buble, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, BBC Symphony Orchestra.. moments I will keep in my heart forever. I LOVE YOU!

The dancer included a sweet tribute to Janette in his announcement

"And finally, thank YOU, the people that watch Strictly who have been so kind to me all these years. Every comment, vote, kind message never went unnoticed. You are the reason we all do it, thank you!

"I have lots of exciting stuff planned that I will fill you in on soon. I can't wait to see what the future holds!

"KEEEEEP DANCING!"

The news comes just weeks after Oti Mabuse announced her exit from the BBC show. 

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