Gleb Savchenko quits Strictly Come Dancing
Published 28/06/2016 | 12:26
Strictly Come Dancing star Gleb Savchenko has quit the award-winning show.
The professional dancer will not be competing for the glitterball trophy with a celebrity partner when the new series returns to BBC One in the autumn.
Savchenko, who is married to fellow dancer Elena Samodanova and has a young daughter, said: "I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the last series of Strictly Come Dancing, and especially the way that the UK gave me such a warm welcome, but due to family commitments I won't be returning to the show for the next series - I'll definitely be tuning in though."
He danced with Countryfile presenter Anita Rani in the 2015 series but the pair were knocked out in a dance-off by Katie Derham and her professional partner Anton du Beke.
Former The Wanted singer Jay McGuiness was eventually crowned the winner alongside his partner Aliona Vilani.
Vilani and fellow professional dancers Ola Jordan and Kristina Rihanoff all announced at the end of the last series that they would not be returning to the show, which recently won a National Television Award and its first TV Bafta, while Tristan MacManus quit earlier this year.
They will be replaced by Katya Jones, a world champion, Ukrainian champion Oksana Platero and top Spanish dance professional Gorka Marquez, the BBC announced.
They will join returning dancers Du Beke, Brendan Cole, Kevin Clifton, Pasha Kovalev, Aljaz Skorjanec, Giovanni Pernice, Karen Clifton, Natalie Lowe, Joanne Clifton, Janette Manrara and Oti Mabuse.
Louise Rainbow, executive producer of Strictly Come Dancing, said: "We are delighted with our professional dancer line-up this year and we welcome three new stunning dancers to our Strictly family.
"Our most recent series was a terrific one for Strictly, winning both an NTA and Bafta Television Award, and we are all so excited to build on that and look forward to yet another brilliant and entertaining series."
Other professional dancers joining the line-up will be announced before the show returns and the celebrity competitors are revealed.