Strictly Come Dancing's Craig Revel Horwood reveals shock at Darcey Bussell's exit

Strictly Come Dancing 2016 - Judges Craig

Craig Revel Horwood has confessed his shock at Darcey Bussell's exit from Strictly Come Dancing.

Ballet dancer Darcey made the announcement this week that she is leaving Strictly Come Dancing after seven years.

It seems as though the news not only took fans by surprise, with Craig revealing he's "shocked" to see her go.

“I’m shocked as well because she was one of my best mates, especially on the tour, we had such a fantastic time. I’m really going to miss her,” he said this week.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Craig explained: "She’s done seven years and she loves it and she has a great time.

“It’s going to be really sad seeing her go, obviously, because I love sitting next to her and I don’t know who’s going to take her place – no idea. But it’s a good thing she wants to do other things.”

He added: “I’ve sent her a private message – unlike everyone else who sends their condolences as though she’s dead! Which makes me laugh.

“She’s not died, she’s just left the show. She’s got a life to lead – she’s a Dame, she doesn’t need it. Darcey is a prima ballerina – we were really honoured to have her. That’s really important. That we had someone of her calibre on the show.”

In a statement, Darcey said there was no "upset or disagreement" behind the decision, saying she planned to focus on her "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."

There have already been plenty of rumours about who could replace her, with Anton Du Beke and Karen Hardy two of the early favourites.

Strictly Come Dancing 2019 will return to screens on BBC One in September.

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