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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Ellie Harrison

Strictly Come Dancing star Amanda Abbington quits show after ‘medical problems’

BBC/Guy Levy

Amanda Abbington has quit Strictly Come Dancing, just five weeks into the competion.

The BBC confirmed the news on Strictly spinoff show It Takes Two on Monday night (23 October), with Fleur East reading an official statement on behalf of the show.

“Amanda Abbington is unable to continue in Strictly Come Dancing and has decided to withdraw from the competition,” the statement read. “The show wishes her all the best for the future.”

After a montage of her time on the show played, East added: “Amanda, we are sending you all of our love.”

Abbington was paired with Italian professional dancer Giovanni Pernice on the series.

The Sherlock star, 51, missed the live show on Saturday night (21 October) “due to medical reasons”.

The news that Abbington was going to miss an episode was initially announced on It Takes Two, with host and former Strictly professional Janette Manrara telling audiences, “we have some breaking news”.

Amanda Abbington (right) and Giovanni Pernice
— (BBC/Guy Levy)

“Unfortunately, due to medical reasons, Amanda will not be taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this weekend,” she said.

Strictly Come Dancing protocols mean that all being well, Amanda and Giovanni (Pernice) will return the following week.”

Manrara added: “Amanda, we hope you get well soon, my love, sending you all the best wishes.”

The star was doing well on Strictly, scoring 31 for a quick-footed foxtrot the last time she appeared on the show.

Abbington is best known for her role as Mary Watson in Sherlock opposite Benedict Cumberbatch’s sleuth.

She was at the centre of controversy in the lead-up to Strictly thanks to a resurfaced tweet about a drag show.

The tweet in question was about a baby sensory and cabaret show aimed at parents and their infants aged up to two.

When the controversy reared its head again in response to her Strictly casting, Abbington posted a video to her critics, saying: “I’m sorry if my tweet about drag shows made you feel like you can’t watch Strictly. And I think if you got to know me, you’d quite like me.

“I need to make this very clear,” she added. “I love drag. I think it’s an amazing form of entertainment and I f***ing love drag queens. I think they’re hilarious and brilliant...”

She continued: “But my tweet back in March was regarding a 12-year-old who was doing it in front of adults. And it just upset me because I saw a kid, a little kid, a 12-year-old, doing something very oversexualised and I didn’t think it was right.

“That was my tweet. I didn’t associate that with the trans community, nor would I associate that with the trans community, because I think they’re two separate things. And I’m not transphobic... I am a firm supporter of the legitimate trans community.”

Abbington had tweeted that the show was “not for babies”, saying: “If you think it is, there is something fundamentally wrong with you.”

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