Darcey Bussell quit Strictly Come Dancing because she didn’t want to perform on the show, a report claims.
Darcey announced in April that she had bowed out of the BBC One favourite after seven series.
Her sudden decision apparently caught producers by surprise and left her fellow judges shocked.
While the legendary ballerina officially stated that she wanted to focus on her “many other commitments in dance”, a new report suggests she may have had another reason for leaving.
According to The Sun, Darcey departed because Strictly’s new execs wanted the judges to perform on the show.
The newspaper quotes insiders as saying she preferred to ‘leave the dancing to the celebrities’.
Strictly’s head judge Shirley Ballas seemed to back up the claims, revealing that she was all for the change in format.
“I do know that the BBC wanted the professionals to do a little bit more dancing,” she said.
“I don’t know whether it was uncomfortable, or did she want to do it, or didn’t she want to do it?
“I was all up for it because I think, ‘you’re older but you’re not dead and you can still do a bit’.
“You can’t do what those professionals do by any means, but you can get out there and show the public that you can still move.”
Shirley added: "I wish Darcey well and I’m sure she’ll find her own thing. She’s a national treasure.”
Darcey was eventually replaced by Motsi Mabuse, a judge on the German version of Strictly, and the sister of professional contestant Oti.
Shirley, Motsi and fellow panellists Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood all participated in a judges’ dance on the launch episode of the current series.
Strictly Come Dancing 2019 continues on Saturdays and Sundays on BBC One.