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Nigel Harman forced to withdraw from Strictly Come Dancing hours before quarter-final

The Casualty star and his dance partner Katya Jones will not be performing this evening

Nigel Harman with the Best Drama Star awards at the Inside Soap Awards 2023 Winners Room at Salsa! on September 25, 2023 in London, England.
Georgia Brown
Georgia BrownSenior Lifestyle & Fashion Writer
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Nigel Harman and Katya Jones have withdrawn from Strictly Come Dancing hours before they were due to perform in the live show on Saturday 2 December. 

The former Eastenders star, 50, was due to perform a Charleston to 'Step in Time' from Disney's Mary Poppins with his professional dance partner after sailing through to the quarter-finals of the beloved BBC dance competition. 

A spokesperson for the BBC said: "Unfortunately Nigel has sustained an injury which means he is unable to perform and has had to withdraw from Strictly".

WATCH: Nigel and Katya wow Strictly fans with their impressive Salsa

The actor is understood to have suffered a leg injury which prevented him from continuing in the competition, and forced him to pull out of the quarter final just four hours before the live show was due to air. 

Other reports claim Nigel did not attend morning rehearsals, with the remaining celebrity dancers informed of his absence this afternoon.

Nigel Harman and Katya Jones dance their couples choice© Guy Levy
Nigel Harman and Katya Jones sailed through to the quarter-finals

Nigel's shock exit comes after the star kicked off the season at the top of the leaderboard with his powerful Paso Doble to Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. 

Nigel Harman and Katya Jones dancing the Salsa© Guy Levy
Nigel and Katya topped the leaderboard in the first live show

His departure from the show will no doubt come as a disappointment to Strictly fans, who hailed Katya's acclaimed choreography as the 'best' in the show. 

Nigel Harman and Katya Jones dancing the Salsa© Guy Levy
The dance couple withdrew from the competition hours before the show started

Taking to X (formerly Twitter) after the dancing duo dazzled in the ballroom with their impressive Salsa, one person wrote: "The choreography of Katya is simply world-class and second to none. And Nigel executes perfectly. Such a brilliant pairing!" while another added: "One of the best of the night. It deserved 9. They were super synchronised. And Katya is one of the best choreographers on the show."

Nigel Harman and Katya Jones doing the Cha-cha-cha to I Was Made for Lovin’ You by KISS© BBC
Nigel Harman and Katya Jones took on a Cha-cha-cha to I Was Made for Lovin’ You by KISS

It is not clear whether an elimination will still go ahead this week.Typically, the Strictly Come Dancing final requires at least four partners to compete - but after Amanda Abbington also withdrew from the competition, Nigel's exit could mean that all four remaining couples are safe this week. 

Nigel Harman and Katya Jones dancing a foxtrot© Guy Levy
Nigel and Katya's dancing has been a hit with Strictly fans

The remaining celebrities are Ellie Leach, Annabel Croft, Layton Williams and Bobby Brazier.

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