Just three weeks into the competition, a celebrity has had to withdraw themselves from Strictly Come Dancing due to ill health.
Taking to social media on Wednesday evening, BBC confirmed that comedian and actor Robert Webb will no longer be competing in the series, and neither will his professional partner, Dianne Buswell.
“I’m extremely sorry to have to announce that I’m withdrawing from Strictly Come Dancing due to ill health,” his statement read.
Going on to explain his reasons for leaving the show, Robert continued, “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.”
“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,” 49-year-old Robert confessed.
“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.”
Going on to thank his supporters at home and everyone who voted for him to continue week after week, Robert said, “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.”
“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,” he lovingly concluded.”
Of course fans and participants of the show were deeply saddened to see Robert and Dianne go, but understood their reasons. The comment section was soon flooded with messages of love and support.
Strictly host Claudia Winkle sweetly wrote, “We will miss you so much,” followed by a stream of heart emojis.
Professional dancer Amy Dowden said, “Absolutely gutted for you both! Sending all my love.”
Soap star Katie McGlynn, who was voted off last weekend’s show commented, “Such sad news. Sending all my love to you both!!! Xx.”
“You’ve been amazing and we’ll miss you both,” gushed Dragons’ Den star Sara Davies, adding, “Sending lots of love x”.
Meanwhile, Robert’s professional dancing partner Dianne simply commented a heart emoji.
Strictly Come Dancing will continue on BBC One this Saturday night at 7pm.