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Thursday 9th April 2020

Darcey Bussell breaks silence on Strictly departure after quitting announcement

She "knew" the time was right to leave

Darcey Bussell has revealed she "knew" the time was right to leave Strictly Come Dancing in her first comments about her unexpected departure from the BBC dancing show.

The 50-year-old retired ballerina announced she would be stepping away from the Strictly judging panel earlier this month after seven series to focus on other dancing commitments.

But now she has admitted her conclusion to move one was a difficult one to come to - even though she felt her stint on the programme had come to an end.

Talking at the launch of her book Evolved, she is reported to have told The Sun: "It is not a decision that came easily at all.

With her former fellow judges at the launch of last year's series (Credit: Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com)

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"But I knew I had the most amazing time for seven years and it is like pushing your luck to think that I could even do another seven years.

"So I just knew it was time for me to finish and to give that place for somebody else to judge on that wonderful show."

Darcey, made a Dame in 2018, also reportedly hinted she would prefer her daughters to remember her as classical dancer rather than a TV judge.

I had the most amazing time for seven years and it is like pushing your luck to think that I could even do another seven years.

Reports claiming that she had quit over being denied a £40,000 pay rise and being "embarrassed" by the show's "soap opera" scandals were previously slammed as "categorically untrue" by a representative for Darcey.

Stars linked with the judging vacancy include pro dancers Anton du Beke, Camilla Dallerup and James Jordan, as well as Nicole Scherzinger.

A host of Strictly personalities have been linked with her old job (Credit: Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com)

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However, Oti Mabuse seems to have ruled herself out despite speculation she could be in the running for the job.

Kristina Rihanoff has also said she doesn’t feel ready to take the job on just yet, hinting she could be interested in the future.

But she did suggest TV bosses should be searching for another female judge to fill Darcey's spot on the panel.

Kristina said: "I think the panel needs another woman and someone from a different background to ballroom dancing - someone from street dancing or a commercial dancing background, who is also a professional dancer and perhaps a judge."

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