After 7 series, Dame Darcey Bussell has decided to step down as judge from Strictly Come Dancing and will not appear in the new series this autumn.
Speaking about her exit, Darcey said "It has been a complete privilege for me to be part of Strictly, working with such a talented team. I have enjoyed every minute of my time and will miss everyone from my fellow judges, the presenters, the dancers, the musicians, the entire back stage team, and especially the viewers of the show, who have been so supportive. I am not leaving because of any upset or disagreement at all, I am just stepping away to give more focus to my many other commitments in dance, after seven truly wonderful years that I can’t imagine having gone any better."
She went on to say "I know I will miss being part of this unique show and the fact that it celebrates dance is something I am so passionate about. I hope that I may be very lucky to be asked back again one day”.
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, said “It has been an absolute honour to have Darcey, a national treasure and British dance icon, bring her passion for dance and her graceful presence to the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel for seven consecutive years. She will be thoroughly missed by us all and will of course remain part of the Strictly family in the future.”
Whilst Suzy Lamb, MD, Entertainment & Music, BBC Studios said "We feel very fortunate to have had Darcey on the Strictly judging panel for seven glorious years. Her exceptional knowledge of dance and generous spirit have helped many a celebrity keep dancing. Darcey is much loved by the entire Strictly family and I know will be missed in both the ballroom and in sitting rooms across the country."
Strictly Come Dancing returns this autumn on BBC One