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Sara Davies opens up about Robert Webb’s Strictly exit: “I could see he was struggling”

Robert Webb quit the 19th series of Strictly Come Dancing due to "ill health".

Sara Davies on Robert Webb's Strictly exit
Published: Friday, 15th October 2021 at 1:15 pm

There was some sad news on Strictly Come Dancing this week, with Robert Webb quitting Strictly 2021.

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The comedian was expected to return to dance floor this weekend, alongside the rest of the contestants in the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 line-up, but made the decision to leave the show early due to his "ill health."

Speaking about his sudden departure, fellow Strictly star Sara Davies admits she was "gutted", telling RadioTimes.com exclusively that she could see Webb was "struggling" on the BBC One dance show.

"He's such a big personality Robert," she said. "I don't know if you realised when we're queuing up backstage – they're the couple who are just in front of us, so for me the most exciting moment is that five minutes before we get ready to go out and I feel like I shared that with Robert every week."

She continued: "I got to know Diane as well and the joke last week was that she got my blonde hair, and I got her red hair. But I could see that Robert was really kind of struggling. I watched him last week and he was struggling."

Davies thinks Webb might have stayed on in the competition this far so as not to let his professional dance partner Diane Buswell down.

"I know how he feels as well because he won't have wanted to let Diane down, so I know he'd have been trying to push through," she explained.

"So for him to take that decision must have been so difficult because it's not like you can say, 'I want to kind of have a few weeks off and then see if I feel any better' or can put a pause on it and come back next year and do it. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I know how devastated he'd have been to pull out."

On Wednesday, 13th October, the BBC announced that Robert Webb had left the 19th series of Strictly.

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 contestant Robert Webb

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 contestant Robert Webb

Sharing a statement, the broadcaster said: "Robert Webb and Dianne Buswell are to leave Strictly Come Dancing. Robert has made the decision to withdraw from the competition due to ill health.”

Webb penned a longer explanation, published on the official Strictly website, which read: “I’m extremely sorry to have to announce that I’m withdrawing from Strictly Come Dancing due to ill health. Two years ago I had open heart surgery and although I believed I was fit enough to take on Strictly and its demanding schedule, it became clear that I had bitten off way more than I could chew for this stage in my recovery. I had begun to feel symptoms that led me to seek an urgent consultation with my heart specialist, and it was her view that it would be better for the sake of my health to step back from the show."

Additional reporting by Lauren Morris.

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Strictly Come Dancing continues this weekend on BBC One. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide or visit our Entertainment hub for the latest news. 

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