What happens now Jamie Laing has pulled out from Strictly Come Dancing?
With the Made in Chelsea star forced to quit the show following an injury, a hole is left in the Strictly line-up
You’d have thought after 16 series of Strictly Come Dancing, we would have seen it all – but no, the BBC ballroom bonanza still has the power to surprise us.
For the first time in the show’s 17 year history, a celebrity has been forced to quit before the first live show.
Jamie Laing pulled out after sustaining an injury in his right leg during the pre-recorded launch show, which he will still feature in.
In a statement Jamie said: "I’m absolutely devastated that I’m unable to continue in the competition, I was so excited to hit the dance floor. I would like to wish the lovely couples all the very best and hope they enjoy their time on the show to the fullest.”
So what happens now?
Much like other shows which feature celebs at risk of injury (here's looking at Dancing on Ice and The Jump), Strictly Come Dancing most likely has a “stand-by” celebrity ready to step into someone else’s dancing shoes.
With Jamie reportedly standing at 5 ft 7, a male celebrity of a similar stature (and with a fairly clear calendar) may have to take Jamie’s place.
However, with new judge Motsi Mabuse calling for Strictly to “push for change”, could we see a woman partner with a female pro for the very first time?
It should be noted that celebrities who have quit Strictly during the show’s run have not previously been replaced.
Will Young pulled out in 2016 for personal reasons after just two weeks in the competition, leaving pro-dancer Karen Hauer without a partner for the remainder of the series – so we could now be left with 14 celebs.
A spokesperson for Strictly told RadioTimes.com that a further statement would be issued in due course.
Strictly Come Dancing launches Saturday 7th September at 7.10pm on BBC One