Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman addressed Amanda Abbington’s shock exit from Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday’s live show.
The actress, 51, withdrew from the show due to ‘personal reasons’, after she and her dance partner Giovanni Pernice didn’t perform during last Saturday’s episode.
Amanda didn’t say why she had quit but said she hadn’t come to the ‘decision lightly’, as insiders claimed her time on the show has been ‘plagued with difficulties’.
Hosts Tess and Claudia addressed her surprise departure at the start of the show, telling viewers: ‘Now earlier this week Amanda Abbington withdrew from the competition.
They added: ‘We are sending you all our love’ and the studio audience then joined in for a round of applause.
Sending love: Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman addressed Amanda Abbington ‘s shock exit from Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday’s live show
Exit: The actress, 51, withdrew from the show due to ‘personal reasons’, after she and her dance partner Giovanni Pernice didn’t perform during last Saturday’s episode
In an exit statement this week, Amanda thanked her team, but fuelled rumours of feud with Giovanni by failing to mention.
She wrote: ‘It is with deepest regret that I had to leave Strictly. I did not come to this decision easily or lightly but for personal reasons I am unable to continue.
‘It was an absolute joy working with my fellow contestants, they are a beautiful, hardworking and talented group of people who I love and who I will miss seeing every Friday and Saturday and competing alongside.
‘I want to thank the incredible Production team and everyone on Strictly who looked after me and who are so kind and caring. It’s a wonderful bunch of people and I’ll miss all of them.
‘I’m so sad that I am unable to go any further. Thank you to everyone who voted and who sent wonderful messages and inspiring support. You are all amazing. Truly. Thank you. xxx’.
Giovanni later took to his Instagram, sharing a backstage photo with Amanda during Movie Week.
Captioning the snap, he wrote: ‘Amanda ..I am so sad we can’t continue but I am proud of what we achieved and I am sending you so much love’.
On Monday’s It Takes Two, the show confirmed Amanda’s exit and released a statement that read: ‘Amanda Abbington is unable to continue in Strictly Come Dancing and has decided to withdraw from the competition. The show wishes her all the best for the future.’
A Strictly insider told about Amanda’s withdrawal: ‘This has been something that Amanda has been unfortunately having to consider making since late last week.
‘It has been a devastating time for Amanda. Her Strictly journey has been plagued by difficulties but she just didn’t think there was any other option. As hard as it has been, there was a chance they could have won.’
Following seven years on the BBC show, some Strictly viewers are predicting that this could be Giovanni’s last season performing with a celebrity partner.
One wrote: ‘I think this will be your last year… you have outgrown Strictly, and I think you know that.’
Another said: ‘I am devastated for you. I was supporting you both and voting. Will we still see you dance on Strictly next year?’
But sources close to Giovanni say that while those conversations won’t take place until 2024 that he isn’t even considering leaving the show.
Amanda reportedly didn’t know what she had let herself in for by signing up to the BBC dance show – amid speculation she failed to ‘gel’ with Giovanni.
The star was ‘frazzled and fragile’ and insiders aren’t surprised she has quit the programme, according to the Telegraph.