Pasha Kovalev to leave Strictly Come Dancing after eight series

Strictly Come Dancing 2016 - Professional Dancers

Pasha Kovalev will be leaving Strictly Come Dancing after eight series, it has been announced.

The pro dancer has decided to say goodbye to the BBC One show, it was revealed today (Wednesday, February 13).

Pasha said of his exit: "After scoring 93 perfect tens, reaching 4 finals and lifting 1 glitter ball, it's time for me to find a new challenge and so I've decided to make last year - my final season on Strictly.

"I've had 8 fantastic years, full of wonderful memories, thanks to the incredible partners, professionals and myriad of behind the scenes teams who all work to make Strictly the amazing production that it is.

"The biggest thanks go to all the members of the public who've supported me so much over these years - I look forward to seeing you on the Strictly Pro-Tour this spring, and for many future adventures to come!"

The official Strictly Twitter posted: "Sadly after eight incredible series, the brilliant @PashaKovalev has decided to leave #Strictly😢. Pasha, from all of us, thank you for your amazing choreography and routines over the years. You’ll be sorely missed! 💕"

They added: "Pasha is an incredibly talented and dedicated dancer who is much loved by his Strictly Family and viewers and will be hugely missed.

"Since joining the show in 2011, he has competed in eight series, made it to four finals and was crowned champion with Caroline Flack in 2011.

"We would like to thank him For everything he has contributed to the show over the years and wish him the very best for the future."

On Twitter, fans were quick to send Pasha their messages of support.

"You have been such a great role model and a wonderful caring person to watch. I've loved your choreography & how much passion you have for dance! I wish you all the best for the future & you'll be sadly missed!❤" one wrote.

Another added: "Sad to see Pasha go, but hopefully he has something new and fresh to do after 8 series of strictly. It won't be the same but I wish you well Pasha. X"

Other pros currently on Strictly at the time of writing are AJ Pritchard, Aljaž Škorjanec, Amy Dowden, Anton Du Beke, Dianne Buswell, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe, Janette Manrara, Karen Clifton, Katya Jones, Kevin Clifton, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova, Neil Jones and Oti Mabuse.

Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One in the autumn.

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