Will Young LEAVES Strictly Come Dancing for "personal reasons"

Published Tuesday, Oct 11 2016, 19:53 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
Will Young has left Strictly Come Dancing, it has been confirmed tonight.

Singer Will, 37, has cited "personal reasons" for his departure from the BBC One show and he has thanked fans for all their support.

Strictly Come Dancing 2016 cast picture: Will Young

© BBC/Jay Brooks/Matt Burlem

In a statement, he said: "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."

Will's exit from the show will no doubt shock fans. The pop star was partnered with Karen Clifton and the pair had been doing well in the competition.

Thanking the public and crew, Will continued: "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. 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."

Strictly Come Dancing 2016: Will Young and Karen Clifton
Launch show 2016

© BBC / Guy Levy

He added: "I am so grateful to everyone who works on Strictly from the lighting designer to catering to the production team. Strictly truly is the most unique family and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. And finally thank you to the BBC for supporting me throughout my journey. I wish my compatriots so much luck, and although I am back to being a viewer again, I'm certainly going to 'keeeep dancing'!"

Confirming the news, a BBC statement read: "Due to personal reasons, Will Young has decided to withdraw from Strictly Come Dancing. The show fully respects his decision and wishes him all the best for the future."

In week two of the competition, Will had to see a medic after pulling a muscle in his leg. Will's most recent routine, a Bollywood-inspired salsa to Slumdog Millionaire's Jai Ho, saw him placed fourth on the leaderboard.

The singer did, however, find himself in an almost heated debate with judge Len Goodman, who said the routine lacked traditional moves.

Len said: "For me, not enough Salsa. I loved the dance it was entertaining it was fun..but it's a Salsa, and I would have liked more."

Will replied: "There are 24 counts of Salsa in the routine." But Len told him: "Well I must say, most of them I didn't recognise."

Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC One this Saturday.