Robert Webb on Strictly

Robert Webb and Dianne Buswell forced to pull out of Strictly Come Dancing due to heart condition

The couple announced the news on It Takes Two tonight.

| Updated:

Robert Webb has been forced to quit Strictly Come Dancing due to ill health.

The Peep Show star and his pro partner Dianne Buswell have withdrawn from the competition on the advice of doctors.

Comedian Robert, who is 49, revealed he had open heart surgery two years ago. Due to the nature of his illness, he is in a long period of recovery.

While he initially believed he would be well enough to compete, long-standing conditions means it is no longer possible.

Strictly spin-off It Takes Two confirmed the news on Wednesday evening.

Dianne and Robert
Dianne and Robert will no longer participate in Strictly Come Dancing 2021 (Credit: BBC)

What did Robert say about his exit?

In a statement about the exit, Robert said: “I’m extremely sorry to have to announce that I’m withdrawing from Strictly Come Dancing due to ill health.

“Two years ago I had open heart surgery and although I believed I was fit enough to take on Strictly and its demanding schedule, it became clear that I had bitten off way more than I could chew for this stage in my recovery.

“I had begun to feel symptoms that led me to seek an urgent consultation with my heart specialist, and it was her view that it would be better for the sake of my health to step back from the show.”

Read more: Strictly news: Kevin Clifton spills show secrets as he lifts lid on how songs and dances are picked

“I’m proud of the three dances that Dianne Buswell and I managed to perform and deeply regret having to let her down like this,” he added. “I couldn’t have wished for a more talented partner or more patient teacher, and it’s a measure of Dianne’s professionalism and kindness that I was able to get as far as I did.

Strictly - Robert Webb and Dianne Buswell
Dianne and Robert are both ‘gutted’ to withdraw (Credit: BBC)

“Thanks too to everyone at home who voted for us. It was always going to be a difficult mountain to climb (for one thing it’s made of glitter so it’s very skiddy) and I’ve been especially touched by the support from fellow heart patients.”

“I think perhaps I was too eager to impress them,” he added. “They will know that recovery doesn’t always go in a straight line. I hope they’re not too disappointed that I ran into the limits of my resilience much sooner than I’d hoped.”

What has Dianne said about Robert Webb?

“As a massive fan of Robert’s, I was delighted to find out that he was joining the Strictly family,” Dianne said of the announcement.  “On top of this, to find out he was my partner was the icing on the cake.

Read more: Strictly news: Meet the celebrities who’ve turned down a spot on the show

“We made a great team, worked hard and had a good laugh along the way. I am so proud of the three amazing dances we produced.”

She continued: “I know Robert had a lot more to give to the competition but his health of course comes first and I wish him a speedy recovery. I feel lucky to have danced with him and to call him a friend.”

Robert Webb says he didn't have a choice leaving Strictly
Robert and Dianne performed three routines (Credit: BBC)

How will this affect Strictly Come Dancing this week?

Despite the exit, Strictly Come Dancing will continue as normal this week.

This will include a dance-off on Sunday and another elimination.

Nina Wadia and Neil Jones were voted out in week one. Last week, Katie McGlynn and Gorka Marquez became the second to be eliminated.

Twelve couples remain in the competition.

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday night at 7pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. 

Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think of this story.