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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Lizzie Edmonds

Amanda Abbington reveals she has quit Strictly for ‘personal reasons’

Actress Amanda Abbington has confirmed she left Strictly Come Dancing due to "personal reasons."

It was confirmed on Monday night that the Sherlock star was dropping out of the BBC One competition. The star, who was partnered with Giovanni Pernice, also didn’t take part in Saturday’s live show “due to medical reasons”.

Commenting on Instagram on Tuesday, Abbington said she felt "unable to continue" on the show - adding her decision to leave was not made "lightly."

She wrote: “It is with deepest regret that I had to leave Strictly. I did not come to this decision easily or lightly but for personal reasons I am unable to continue.

“It was an absolute joy working with my fellow contestants, they are a beautiful, hardworking and talented group of people who I love and who I will miss seeing every Friday and Saturday and competing alongside.

“I want to thank the incredible Production team and everyone on Strictly who looked after me and who are so kind and caring.

“It’s a wonderful bunch of people and I’ll miss all of them. I’m so sad that I am unable to go any further.

“Thank you to everyone who voted and who sent wonderful messages and inspiring support. You are all amazing. Truly. Thank you. xxx”

Despite Abbington's departure, the BBC competition will continue as normal for the rest of the series, with an elimination each week until the final, PA on Tuesday reported.

On Monday evening, It Takes Two presenter and singer Fleur East confirmed Abbington had left Strictly, and said “the show wishes her all the best for the future”.

A compilation of the actress’s best moments was played before East added: “Amanda, we are sending you all of our love.”

It came after it was announced on Friday evening that Abbington would miss the Strictly live show on Saturday night but could “return the following week” alongside her professional partner, Giovanni Pernice, according to protocols of the show.

Following the announcement of her departure, Pernice shared a picture on his Instagram of the pair wearing Christmas outfits.

The post read: “Amanda … I am so sad we can’t continue but I am proud of what we achieved and I am sending you so much love.”

In her last appearance on the show, Abbington scored 31 for a quick-footed foxtrot to Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac, with judge Motsi Mabuse saying she enjoyed the couple taking the time to show the “beauty of the movement”.

In the second week of Strictly the actress had wowed the judges with complex-looking lifts and a handstand when she dazzled in a sparkly dress and performed the salsa with Pernice to Oye by Gloria Estefan.

During movie week, she scored 30 points for her “magical” Bridget Jones-inspired rumba to Out Of Reach by Gabrielle.

Abbington played Mary Watson in BBC drama Sherlock and has appeared in other TV series including Inside No 9, Mr Selfridge and After You’ve Gone.

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