Strictly Come Dancing's Pasha Kovalev announces he has quit the show after 8 years

14 February 2019, 12:12 | Updated: 14 February 2019, 12:21

Pasha Kovalev
Pasha Kovalev partnered with Ashley Roberts in the 2018 series. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

The professional dancer announced his departure on Twitter yesterday (February 13).

Pasha Kovalev confirmed his departure on Twitter, claiming he feels it’s time for a “new challenge”.

He wrote: “I’ve had eight fantastic years, full of wonderful memories, thanks to the incredible partners, professionals and myriad of behind the scenes teams who all work to make Strictly the amazing production that it is.

“The biggest thanks go to all the members of the public who’ve supported me so much over these years – I look forward to seeing you on the Strictly Pro-Tour this spring, and for many future adventures to come!”

An official statement from Strictly said: “Pasha is an incredibly talented and dedicated dancer who is much loved by his Strictly family and viewers and will be hugely missed.

Ashley & Pasha Contemporary 'Unsteady' by X Ambassadors ft. Erich Lee Gravity - BBC Strictly 2018

“We would like to thank him for everything he has contributed to the show over the years and wish him the very best for the future.”

Pasha joined Strictly in 2011, and has partnered several top stars over the years, including Countdown presenter Rachel Riley, with whom he started a relationship soon after. He also won the show in 2014 with Caroline Flack.

Last year, he was partnered with former Pussycat Dolls star Ashley Roberts.