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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Lizzie Edmonds

Strictly Come Dancing to continue as normal following Amanda Abbington exit

Strictly Come Dancing is set to continue as normal for the duration of the series with an elimination each week until the final – despite the departure of contestant Amanda Abbington.

It was announced the 49-year-old actress had decided to withdraw from the BBC competition on spin-off show It Takes Two on Monday evening.

Her exit comes days after she pulled out of the live show on Saturday night “due to medical reasons”.

The 21st series of Strictly will continue as normal with a couple being voted off each week following a dance-off in front of judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke, it is understood.

On Monday evening, presenter and singer Fleur East confirmed the Sherlock star had exited the show.

She read a statement which said: “Amanda Abbington is unable to continue in Strictly Come Dancing and has decided to withdraw from the competition.

“The show wishes her all the best for the future.”

A compilation of Abbington’s best moments on the dancing show 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 her exit announcement, Pernice shared a picture of the pair wearing Christmas outfits on his Instagram.

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 Mabuse saying she enjoyed that the couple took the time to show the “beauty of the movement”.

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

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 series Sherlock and has appeared in other TV series that include Inside No 9, Mr Selfridge and After You’ve Gone.

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