Will Young has unexpectedly quit this year’s Strictly Come Dancing for “personal reasons”.

This evening, the Leave Right Now singer said in a statement: “To be a part of Strictly has been a long time ambition of mine.  As a performer, a viewer, and a fan of the show, to dance as a contestant was an experience I always hoped for.”

“I have made some great friends, and am in awe of their performances week in, week out.” 

“I have found a creative partnership with Karen that has been the most wonderful thing to experience,” he continued.

“I will be eternally grateful to her for her direction, talent and guiding me through three wonderful dances that I will be able to show my grandkids in years to come.”

“Unfortunately, I am leaving the show for personal reasons.  I leave with joy in my heart that I have been able to take part in one of the most loved shows on British television.” 

While fans of the show have been quick to speculate that the 37-year-old’s shock departure could be linked to criticism he received from Strictly judge Len Goodman on Saturday night, sources say the row had nothing to do with his decision to leave.