'Everyone you meet is fighting a battle' - Strictly stars 'so sad' over Will Young departure
The stars of Strictly Come Dancing have spoken of their sadness and concern over Will Young's mysterious exit from the programme.
The Pop Idol winner, (37), left days after clashing with head judge Len Goodman, with the veteran telling Young to ''turn up, keep up, shut up''.
Young told fans on Tuesday that he had withdrawn from the competition due to "personal reasons", but left with "joy in my heart that I have been able to take part in one of the most loved shows on British television".
His partner, Karen Clifton, said she was "so sad" he had quit the show.
I'm so sad that Will has decided to quit the show and I know it wasn't an easy decision for him.— Karen Clifton (@karen_hauer) October 11, 2016
She said on Twitter: "I know it wasn't an easy decision for him. It was great dancing with him, he was such fun to work with and I wish him all the very best for the future."
Goodman and his fellow judges Darcey Bussell, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli have not commented on the departure, nor have hosts Claudia Winkelman and Tess Daly.
However many of Young's fellow contestants and their dance partners were quick to wish him well.
Model Daisy Lowe tweeted: "@willyoung you are such a talented superstar... @bbcstrictly won't be the same without you- I love you dearly and hope you're alright."
Hollyoaks star Danny Mac said the contestants were "gutted", adding: "We all fully support his decision and will miss him massively. All the best mate x."
Presenter Laura Whitmore tweeted an image with the message: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about." The post did not refer to Young directly.
Birds Of A Feather star Lesley Joseph said: "Sad to hear that the lovely Will Young has left #Strictly due to personal reasons!"
Comedian Melvin Odoom tweeted: "So sad to hear this @willyoung Has been a pleasure enjoying the @bbcstrictly experience with you sir...& glad to have made a new friend."
Dancer Natalie Lowe said it was "an absolute dream" working with Young, while fellow professional Janette Manrara said she was "sending all my love & positive energy to an awesome guy".
A show source said there was no bad blood between Young and Goodman following Saturday night's heated exchange, and there is a lot of mutual respect between them.
In a statement the BBC 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."
Young and Clifton were due to perform the Viennese waltz to Say Something by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera this weekend.
The show will proceed as normal with a results show on Sunday, when the third celebrity will be eliminated following the public vote.
:: Strictly Come Dancing airs at 6.30pm on BBC One.