Strictly Come Dancing bosses ‘caught by surprise’ when Darcey Bussell quit

Darcey Bussell’s decision to quit Strictly Come Dancing took bosses by surprise, it’s been claimed.


A spot on the Strictly panel opened up this month when Darcey Bussell made the announcement she was quitting.

Darcey had been a judge on Strictly for seven years, sitting alongside Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and head judge Shirley Ballas.

In a statement 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.”

Now Strictly dancer Anton Du Beke has said that Darcey’s decision to leave the show shocked everyone.


Anton – who recently released his own book One Enchanted Evening – told the Daily Mail: “I think they were caught a bit by surprise by Darcey, it wasn’t like the end of the series when she said she was leaving.

“I haven’t spoken to her about it, and it’s caught everybody a bit on the hop, but they’ve got the whole summer to organise it, they’ll go through a process which they have to do.”

Anton has been a pro dancer on the show since the first series and it’s been rumoured he could takeover from Darcey.

On the speculation, he said coyly: “I’m on the show anyway, so I’m either going to be dancing as normal or they might decide they want me to change roles.

“Whatever they want me to do I’d be delighted to do it.”

According to The Sun newspaper, cast and crew on the BBC One series are backing Anton for the job.


“Loveable Anton is the cast’s favourite choice to take over from Darcey as judge,” a source shared. “Some on the show believe it’s time for him to hang up his dancing shoes and sit on the other side of the table.”

Strictly Come Dancing airs on BBC One.