Darcey Bussell reveals why she left Strictly Come Dancing

strictly-come-dancing-2016-blackpool-caps-results-9 Darcey Bussell

Dame Darcey Bussell has stepped down from Strictly Come Dancing - but why did she leave?

Ballet dancer Darcey made the surprise announcement last month that she is leaving Strictly Come Dancing after seven years.

Now she has spoken out about just why she said goodbye to the BBC One show.

“It is not a decision that came easily at all," Darcey said today.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper, Darcey explained: “I knew I had the most amazing time for seven years and it is like pushing your luck to think that I could even do another seven years.

“So I just knew it was time for me to finish and to give that place for somebody else to judge on that wonderful show.”

In a statement released previously, Darcey said there was no "upset or disagreement" behind the decision, saying she planned to focus on "my many other commitments in dance".

Darcey explained: "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 added: "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”.

Darcey currently judges on Strictly alongside Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and head judge Shirley Ballas.

Following the news of Darcey's departure, Shirley tweeted: "Thank you for holding my hand all the way and being such an incredible friend. You were my rock when I was new to the show and have always been so kind.

"I for one will dearly miss my partner in crime and our girlie chats. It just won't be the same without you!"

And Bruno shared: "Can we just take a moment and appreciate my dear friend and the incredible talent that is @darceybussellofficial."

The BBC has not yet confirmed who will replace Darcey but odds are it could be a current or former pro dancer.

Former Strictly professional Karen Hardy leads the way with bookies Ladbroke at 3/1, however a huge surge of bets on Ian Waite have seen his odds cut into 7/2 from 6/1.

Anton Du Beke finds himself chalked up at 4/1, while 7/1 is the price on offer Alesha Dixon makes a sensation return to the show. There’s a 8/1 chance Ola Jordan’s expertise is called upon, which rates her more likely than husband James who’s an outsider at 14/1.

Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: "It Takes Two viewers will be sad to see Karen or Ian leave the spin off show, but if the money’s to be believed, one of them will be waltzing onto the Strictly judging panel.”

Strictly airs on BBC One.

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