Strictly Come Dancing hosts issue update as Nigel and Katya forced to quit show

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    Strictly Come Dancing hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman have addressed Nigel Harman and Katya Jones' sudden departure from the BBC One comeptition.

    The surprise exit was due to 50-year-old soap star Nigel suffering an injury, which meant he and 34-year-old Katya couldn't participate in the live show set to air this evening (Saturday, December 2). This unfortunate event has cost them a shot at the Glitterball Trophy.

    An official BBC spokesperson confirmed the news of Nigel and Katya's departure, stating: "Unfortunately Nigel has sustained an injury which means he is unable to perform in tonight's show and has had to withdraw from Strictly." The unexpected announcement came just hours before the live show, causing chaos behind the scenes of the BBC series with show bosses reportedly unsure how to proceed with the results show airing on Sunday (December 3).

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    Tess and Claudia kicked off Saturday's Musicals Week special by discussing Nigel's exit from the show. Claudia said: ""We only have four couples unfortunately Nigel has sustained an injury which means he's unable to be performing ON tonight's show and he's had to withdraw from the competition. We are as devastated as he is but Nigel and Katya will be chatting to us later on in the show.

    ""That means there will be no public vote tonight and no elimination this weekend but the judges will still be scoring and those scores will be carried over and you'll be able to vote as usual next week. So we have four incredible couples ready to bring their best to the ballroom tonight!"

    Following the sad news, many Strictly professionals expressed their sadness at the news. Gorka Marquez, who was eliminated second this year after being partnered with presenter Nikita Kanda, reacted by sharing crying emojis. Nadiya Bychkova, who has been in the show group performances and backing dancing, shared sad-faced emojis and a praying hands emoji.

    Jowita Przysta, who had been paired with Paralympian Jody Cundy but knocked out in week three, also responded with a crying-face emoji alongside a black heart emoji. Angela Rippon – who made it to Blackpool with her dance partner Kai Widdrington – also shared crying-face emojis in response to the news being shared on Instagram.

    Over on X, formerly known as Twitter, Channel 4 newsreader Krishnan Guru-Murthy was among those sharing shock at the news. The star, who was a 2023 contestant and was eliminated in week eight, wrote: "Terrible news. Poor Nigel and Katya – and in musicals week as well which he was so excited about. So sad for a lovely man and amazing dancer."

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    Nigel and Katya are the second couple to quit Strictly during the 2023 contest as Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice were forced to quit the show after week five. It Takes Two host Janette Manrara confirmed the news at the time, telling viewers at home: "Unfortunately, due to medical reasons, Amanda will not be taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this weekend." An official post from Strictly later stated: "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."

    Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC One and BBC iPlayer

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