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Why Robert Webb left Strictly Come Dancing 2021 as star quits due to 'ill health'

Dianne Buswell, Robert Webb - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston

Robert Webb has left Strictly Come Dancing due to ill health - here's all you need to know.

The BBC has confirmed that the comedian and pro partner Dianne Buswell will no longer be competing in the show.

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In an emotional statement, Robert revealed he had to step down after medical advice from doctors.

"I’m extremely sorry to have to announce that I’m withdrawing from Strictly Come Dancing due to ill health," he said. "Two years ago I had open heart surgery and although I believed I was fit enough to take on Strictly and its demanding schedule, it became clear that I had bitten off way more than I could chew for this stage in my recovery.

"I had begun to feel symptoms that led me to seek an urgent consultation with my heart specialist, and it was her view that it would be better for the sake of my health to step back from the show."

Robert continued: "I’m proud of the three dances that Dianne Buswell and I managed to perform and deeply regret having to let her down like this. I couldn’t have wished for a more talented partner or more patient teacher, and it’s a measure of Dianne’s professionalism and kindness that I was able to get as far as I did. Thanks too to everyone at home who voted for us.

"It was always going to be a difficult mountain to climb (for one thing it’s made of glitter so it’s very skiddy) and I’ve been especially touched by the support from fellow heart patients. I think perhaps I was too eager to impress them.

"They will know that recovery doesn’t always go in a straight line, and I hope they’re not too disappointed that I ran into the limits of my resilience much sooner than I’d hoped.

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"I leave knowing that Strictly viewers are in very safe hands and I’ll be cheering for my brother and sister contestants all the way to Christmas. Despite this sad ending, it has been a genuine honour to be part of this huge, joyful and barking mad TV show. Long may it continue."

Dianne Buswell added: "As a massive fan of Robert’s I was delighted to find out that he was joining the Strictly family. On top of this, to find out he was my partner was the icing on the cake. We made a great team, worked hard and had a good laugh along the way.

"I am so proud of the three amazing dances we produced. I know Robert had a lot more to give to the competition but his health of course comes first and I wish him a speedy recovery. I feel lucky to have danced with him and to call him a friend."

Earlier this year, Robert said his heart-op was one of the reasons he originally said yes to the show.

He recalled: "I had to have quite a big heart operation, which made me think, 'This is no time to be cool’. It gave me a slightly different perspective. It was between yes and no and yes felt like the bigger and more generous and more expansive answer.

"No would have left me feeling like a coward."

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Strictly Come Dancing will continue tonight at 7:10PM on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, with 12 couples taking to the Ballroom floor to impress the judges and the voting public.

Picture: Dianne Buswell, Robert Webb - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston

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