Will Young quits Strictly Come Dancing after clashing with judge Len Goodman
Published 11/10/2016 | 21:13
Will Young, the pop star and actor, has quit this year's Strictly Come Dancing, citing unspecified "personal reasons".
Young, who has spoken before about his battle with depression, was involved in an awkward on-screen row with Len Goodman on Saturday night's show, with the judge telling the singer to "turn up, keep up and shut up".
While sources on the show insisted the pair had made up, and that the row played no role in Young's decision to quit the BBC One programme, the corporation refused to provide further details about the reason for his exit.
In a brief statement, a BBC spokesman said: "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."
A spokesman for the show said that the structure of the series would be unaffected by Young's exit, and that a celebrity would still be sent home this week.
Stars including John Sergeant, the political journalist, and Kelly Brook, the model, have prematurely left the show in previous years.
In a statement, Young paid tribute to dance partner Karen Clifton. He said: "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.
"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. 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’."