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Darcey Bussell to leave Strictly

Posted on April 17, 2019

Darcey Bussell shocked Strictly Come Dancing fans with the announcement she is to step down from her role as a judge on the BBC One show. Previously appearing as a guest judge on the programme, Bussell has been a permanent member of the Strictly judging panel since 2012, seeing the show through seven series.

In her statement released on April 10, she said: “It has been a complete privilege for me to be part of Strictly, working with such a talented team. I have enjoyed every minute of my time and will miss everyone from my fellow judges, the presenters, the dancers, the musicians, the entire backstage team, and especially the viewers of the show, who have been so supportive.

“I am not leaving because of any upset or disagreement at all, I am just stepping away to give more focus to my many other commitments in dance, after seven truly wonderful years that I can’t imagine having gone any better.”

Bussell found fame as a principal dancer with The Royal Ballet, where she danced from 1989 to 2007, becoming widely acclaimed as one of the greatest ballerinas of her time. It has not yet been announced who will replace her on the judging panel.

In the June issue of Dancing Times, our Strictly blogger Marianka Swain will review Bussell’s time on the show.

Photograph by Ray Burmiston/BBC

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, is out now as an ebook and available on Amazon, with the paperback following on August 22.

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