Thursday 21 November 2019

Will Bayley returns to Strictly ballroom after injury forces him to quit show

The Paralympian was in the studio to cheer on his fellow contestants.

Will Bayley injured his knee in Strictly rehearsals (Ray Burmiston/BBC)
Will Bayley injured his knee in Strictly rehearsals (Ray Burmiston/BBC)

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Will Bayley told of his disappointment at being unable to compete on Strictly Come Dancing due to injury as he returned to the ballroom to cheer on his fellow contestants.

The Paralympic champion, 31, was forced to leave the show early after hurting his knee during rehearsals last week.

But he sat on the edge of the dancefloor on Saturday to cheer on his friends as they performed their routines.

He told host Tess Daly: “I am so gutted but it’s so good to be here to support everyone, they are smashing it tonight.

“I feel like I’ve had the most support through this process, so the least I can do is come back to support you. I’m proud to watch these guys.”

Bayley, who previously said he fears his injury could rule him out of defending his Paralympic table tennis crown in Tokyo next year, said his knee is still strapped up, but added: “It’s getting there.

“I want to see how it is in a few weeks. I will be there for Tokyo, I want to try to win that gold medal again.”

He also paid tribute to Strictly partner Janette Manrara, saying: “Janette has been a rock to me, she believed in me and I just can’t speak highly enough of her.

“If there was any way I could dance I promise I would be out there giving it my best shot, but it’s impossible for me.”

PA Media

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