Will Bayley quits Strictly Come Dancing after suffering knee injury
Will Bayley has quit Strictly Come Dancing after suffering a knee injury during rehearsals.
The Paralympian issued a statement on Wednesday confirming the news, admitting he was "gutted" his journey on the BBC show had come to an end.
"I’m gutted my Strictly journey has had to come to an end. I’ve loved being part of the show, and am so grateful for the phenomenal support we have received.
"I want to say a special thank you to Janette for believing in me and giving me the confidence to believe in myself. The things we achieved, from our Couple’s Choice dance through to the lifts in our Salsa, will stay with me forever. I’ve had the time of my life."
"To me, it meant more than just a show...I just wanted to try and help people as well!"
He was an inspiration and a role model to many on #Strictly2019
Thankyou @WillBayleytt and @JManrara! pic.twitter.com/KSA2J40tOk
— BBC Strictly ✨ (@bbcstrictly) October 30, 2019
Janette Manrara added:
“Absolutely devastated that Will and I will not be able to continue dancing. We made some incredible memories that I will never forget, and I am pleased to have shared them with such an inspirational person, whom I can now call a friend for life.”
Executive Producer Sarah James said:
“We are so sad that Will is unable to continue on the show. He is an incredible and talented person who has brought us some unforgettable moments this series - in particular his powerful and moving Couple's Choice routine. He will be greatly missed and we wish him a speedy recovery.”
Bayley did not perform during Saturday's episode. However, viewers were shown a clip of him jumping off a table in rehearsals and landing awkwardly on his knee.
The Sun report that he will not be replaced in the final, and that there will only be three couples competing for the glitter ball trophy.
He is the second celebrity forced to withdraw this year due to injury, after Made in Chelsea's Jamie Laing had to pull out before the series had even begun.