AJ Pritchard quits Strictly Come Dancing after four years as a pro dancer

Strictly Come Dancing: The Professionals

AJ Pritchard has announced he is quitting Strictly Come Dancing as a pro dancer.

AJ, who first joined the series in 2016, announced today (March 26) he had decided not to return for this autumn's series.

Taking to Twitter, AJ told fans and followers: "I have some news for you all. Please see the below statement from my team also sending my love to everyone in this difficult time, please keep safe. AJ x"

The statement read: "After four years on Strictly Come Dancing, AJ has decided the time is right to leave the show and follow his dreams to explore opportunities in the presenting world alongside his brother Curtis.

"AJ would like to thank the team at Strictly and everyone at the BBC for giving him such a brilliant opportunity.

"AJ would also like to send his love and gratitude to all who have followed and supported his career. He is excited for you all to join him on the next chapter of his journey."

In response to AJ's announcement, the Strictly Come Dancing team said: "We would like to thank AJ for four Fantastic years on Strictly Come Dancing.

"He is a brilliant dancer who reached three semi-finals during his time on the show.

"He will be missed by fans and the Strictly family. We wish him all the best For the future."

AJ is the second pro to quit Strictly this year following in the footsteps of Kevin Clifton.

Announcing his exit last month, Kevin said: "After finishing last series with the Children In Need trophy and the Christmas Special I want to leave on a high and have therefore decided the time has come to move on and focus on other areas of my life and career.

"I want to thank all of the pros for inspiring me every day as well as all of my celebrity partners. The whole team behind the scenes have made always made the Strictly family what it is and the loveliest show to work for. "

Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One later this year.

The full professionals line up for 2020 will include, for the men, Aljaž Škorjanec, Anton Du Beke, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe, and Neil Jones.

Joining them are ladies Amy Dowden, Dianne Buswell, Janette Manrara, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova, Nancy Xu and Oti Mabuse.

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