This is why Darcey Bussell is leaving Strictly Come Dancing

It’s a sad day for Strictly Come Dancing lovers as fan favourite, Dame Darcey Bussell, has announced that she is stepping down after seven years of being a judge on the show.

The former ballerina, who joined the show in 2012, has explained that her decision to quit the hit BBC programme is simply due to her decision to spend more time on other her ‘many’ other commitments.

Darcey Bussell leaving Strictly
Rex Features

Explaining her departure, Darcey 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 back stage team, and especially the viewers of the show, who have been so supportive.

She continued: ‘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 replaced former Strictly judge Alesha Dixon, after the star left the BBC show to join Simon Cowell’s judging panel on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent. ‘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,’ the 49-year-old added. ‘I hope that I may be very lucky to be asked back again one day.’

So, who will follow in Darcey’s footsteps? While no replacement has been confirmed yet, former Strictly dancer Kristina Rihanoff has expressed an interest in filling her shoes.

Taking on Twitter, she retweeted a fan’s suggestion that she should be the next judge on the show. ‘Kristina as the new #strictly judge? Would love this, she would be fantastic!???@bbcstrictly’ the fan wrote.

Guess we’ll have to wait and see.