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Why did Amanda Abbington quit Strictly? 'I did not come to this decision easily'

The Sherlock actress was partnered with Giovanni Pernice

Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice dance the salsa in week two
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior Features Writer
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Amanda Abbington has broken her silence over her sudden exit from Strictly Come Dancing due to 'personal reasons'.

The Sherlock actress, who was partnered with professional dancer and former champion Giovanni Pernice, released a statement on social media explaining the reasons behind her departure from the BBC Latin and ballroom competition.

After missing the show over a medical issue in week five, it was confirmed on Monday that Amanda would not be returning to the competition.

The move was surprising to many Strictly fans and many were left wondering the reasons behind the sudden exit, especially following her statement on Instagram which did not mention Giovanni. Find out more about Amanda's exit and reasons below…

WATCH: Amanda Abbington and Giovanni wow with their show-stopping Salsa

Why did Amanda Abbington quit Strictly Come Dancing?

Amanda explained on social media that she was leaving Strictly Come Dancing for "personal reasons." Her statement read: "It is with deepest regret that I had to leave Strictly. I did not come to this decision easily or lightly but for personal reasons I am unable to continue.

"It was an absolute joy working with my fellow contestants, they are a beautiful, hardworking and talented group of people who I love and who I will miss seeing every Friday and Saturday and competing alongside. I want to thank the incredible Production team and everyone on Strictly who looked after me and who are so kind and caring. It's a wonderful bunch of people and I’ll miss all of them."

"I'm so sad that I am unable to go any further. Thank you to everyone who voted and who sent wonderful messages and inspiring support. You are all amazing. Truly. Thank you. Xxx."

Fans took to the comments section to wish Amanda well. One person wrote: "Oh nooo what's happened. Hope you're okay u did so well xxxx." Another said: "So sad… you were amazing! Sending best wishes x," while a third wrote: "Sending you so much love and light."

Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice scored high for their Rumba© Guy Levy
Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice scored high for their Rumba

Amanda was absent from week five of the competition due to medical reasons but Strictly hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman explained during Saturday night's live show that, per the official rules, the star would get a bye and would be able to return the following week.

However, on Monday, it was confirmed by the BBC that Amanda had decided to withdraw from the competition completely. On Strictly's sister show, It Takes Two, Fleur East made the announcement and read out the official statement from a BBC spokesperson.

It read: "Amanda Abbington is unable to continue in Strictly Come Dancing and has decided to withdraw from the competition. The show wishes her all the best for the future."

Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice dancing a salsa© Guy Levy/BBC
Amanda Abbington and Giovanni danced the salsa in week two

What has Giovanni Pernice said about Amanda's exit from Strictly?

Soon after the news was confirmed, Amanda's partner Giovanni took to social media to share his response. Posting a photo of the two of them backstage hugging, the Italian dancer wrote: "Amanda. I am so sad we can't continue but I am proud of what we achieved, and I am sending you so much love."

"This can't have been an easy decision, health and wellbeing has to come first. Thank you for four beautiful, memorable dances. You will be missed."

Giovanni's sweet post sparked a reaction from his followers, who were naturally devastated by Amanda's exit. "Awww no, so gutted. Hope you get well soon Amanda xxx," said one. Another wrote: "I'm so sorry that you can't continue.

Every Strictly Come Dancing winner so far

Rose and Giovanni with the Glitterball in 2021
Rose and Giovanni lifted the Glitterball in 2021
  • 2004: Natisha Kaplinsky (partner Brendan Cole)
  • 2004: Jill Halfpenny (partner Darren Bennett) 
  • 2005: Darren Gough (partner Lilia Kopylova) 
  • 2006: Mark Ramprakash (partner Karen Hardy) 
  • 2007: Alesha Dixon (partner Matthew Cutler) 
  • 2008: Tom Chambers (partner Camilla Dallerup) 
  • 2009: Chris Hollins (partner Ola Jordan) 
  • 2010: Kara Tointon (partner Artem Chigvintsev) 
  • 2011: Harry Judd (partner Aliona Vilani)
  • 2012: Louis Smith (partner Flavia Cacace)
  • 2013: Abbey Clancy (partner Aljaž Škorjanec) 
  • 2014: Caroline Flack (partner Pasha Kovalev) 
  • 2015: Jay McGuiness (partner Aliona Vilani) 
  • 2016: Ore Oduba (partner Joanne Clifton) 
  • 2017: Joe McFadden (partner Katya Jones)
  • 2018: Stacey Dooley (partner Kevin Clifton)
  • 2019: Kelvin Fletcher (partner Oti Mabuse)
  • 2020: Bill Bailey (partner Oti Mabuse) 
  • 2021: Rose Ayling-Ellis (partner Giovanni Pernice) 
  • 2022: Hamza Yassin (partner Jowita Przystał)

How did Amanda and Giovanni get on in the competition?

During Amanda and Giovanni's time on Strictly, the actress impressed the judges and viewers at home. Week one saw them dance a Viennese Waltz and received a very healthy score of 29. The second week saw them take on the Salsa which scored them eight across the board, making them one of the top scorers of the night.

View post on Instagram
 

In week three, Amanda and Giovanni performed a Rumba which wowed head judge Shirley Ballas so much she said Amanda's splits were better than hers, while week four saw them take on the Foxtrot which, again, was met with praise and decent scores from the judges.

Giovanni Pernice and Amanda Abbington © BBC
Giovanni Pernice and Amanda Abbington appearing on It Takes Two earlier in the series

What does Amanda's exit from Strictly mean for the rest of the show?

For the rest of Strictly, it will be business as normal. When someone drops out of the competition, the eliminations continue and it's likely that this year will be a three-person final rather than four.

This isn’t the first time that this has happened, as in 2021 the finalists were John Whaite and Rose Ayling-Ellis after two contestants, Robert Webb and AJ Odudu, withdrew for health and injury reasons respectively throughout the course of the competition.

Was there a feud between Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice?

Amanda Abbington and Giovanni were initially reported to have had a tough start to their Strictly journey, but the pair put those rumours to bed on social media, with Amanda putting a video on her stories quashing the claims and showing off their bond.

amanda abbington bedroom
Amanda would often share candid videos with her fans

It's also been reported that Amanda was struggling with the intensity of rehearsals. In a video shared earlier this month to mark Mental Health Awareness Day, the actress shared a candid and passionate message about how important it is to reach out.

"I'm a bit late to the party, but better late than never! It's World Mental Health Day today. I just want to shout out to everyone, there's a lot of us, that go through anxiety and depression and have a lot of things going on in our lives that we struggle with mentally and emotionally and that manifest itself physically."

She added: "We're all suffering in our own little way and a phone call can make all the difference, either for yourself or someone you know who might be struggling."

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