Darcey Bussell announces she has quit Strictly Come Dancing after seven years

10 April 2019, 15:48 | Updated: 10 April 2019, 16:09

By Tom Eames

Darcey Bussell has decided to leave Strictly Come Dancing as a judge after seven years on the show.

The iconic dancer said in a statement: "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 back stage 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.

Darcey Bussell
Picture: BBC

"I know I will miss being part of this unique show and the fact that it celebrates dance is something I am so passionate about. I hope that I may be very lucky to be asked back again one day."

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, added: “It has been an absolute honour to have Darcey, a national treasure and British dance icon, bring her passion for dance and her graceful presence to the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel for seven consecutive years.

"She will be thoroughly missed by us all and will of course remain part of the Strictly family in the future.”

Darcey Bussell - who was made a Dame in 2018 - became a permanent judge on Strictly in 2012, replacing Alesha Dixon.

Bussell started her professional career at Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet, and a year later she moved to the Royal Ballet, where she became a principal dancer at the age of 20 in 1989.

She stayed with The Royal Ballet for her whole career, and retired from ballet in 2007.