Will Young has quit Strictly Come Dancing after just three live shows.
The singer released a statement announcing his shock withdrawal from the series, citing “personal reasons” for his decision.
“To be a part of Strictly has been a long time ambition of mine,” said the 37-year-old. “As a performer, a viewer, and a fan of the show, to dance as a contestant was an experience I always hoped for. I have made some great friends, and am in awe of their performances week in, week out.”
He added that his partnership with professional dancer Karen Clifton had been “the most wonderful thing to experience” and that he would be “eternally grateful to her for her direction, talent and guiding me through three wonderful dances that I will be able to show my grandkids in years to come.”
Of his departure, he said: “Unfortunately, I am leaving the show for personal reasons.
“I leave with joy in my heart that I have been able to take part in one of the most loved shows on British television. I am so grateful to everyone who works on Strictly from the lighting designer to catering to the production team. Strictly truly is the most unique family and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
“And finally thank you to the BBC for supporting me throughout my journey. I wish my compatriots so much luck, and although I am back to being a viewer again, I’m certainly going to ‘keeeep dancing’!”.
Strictly Come Dancing’s Twitter account confirmed the news, with Young also tweeting the announcement of his departure.
The Leave Right Now singer had enjoyed a decent early run in the competition, finishing joint fifth on last Saturday’s show with a Salsa to Jai Ho! from the film Slumdog Millionaire.
It remains to be seen whether this weekend’s Strictly Come Dancing will feature an elimination in light of his withdrawal.