Belfast Telegraph

Which stars have been forced to exit Strictly Come Dancing early?

Pop Idol winner Will Young and model Kelly Brook are among those who have departed the BBC One show prematurely.

Kelly Brook and Will Young both left Strictly early (PA)
Kelly Brook and Will Young both left Strictly early (PA)

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Jamie Laing is not the first celebrity to pull out of Strictly Come Dancing early, ending their chances of winning the coveted glitterball trophy.

Previous contestants Will Young, John Sergeant, Kelly Brook and Jimmy Tarbuck all withdrew from the biggest dancing show on TV.

Pop Idol winner Young was paired with Karen Clifton for the 2016 series but managed only three weeks before dropping out, citing personal reasons.

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Will Young and Karen Clifton (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

His exit came after veteran judge Len Goodman told him to “turn up, keep up, shut up” while scoring his dance the week before.

In a text sent to Chris Evans and read out on his Radio 2 breakfast show, Young said the reasons for his departure were “all very undramatic”.

The singer said he left with “joy in my heart that I have been able to take part in one of the most loved shows on British television”.

Brook suddenly left the BBC One competition, following the death of her father from cancer, in 2007.

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Kelly Brook and Brendan Cole (BBC/PA)

The actress and model, who had been one of the favourites to win with her professional partner Brendan Cole, had hoped to continue with the show and dance in her father’s memory.

But the grieving star found it too difficult.

A year later, former ITV political editor Sergeant sensationally quit because his popularity with viewers meant he was in danger of winning, despite showing little talent on the dancefloor.

“The trouble is that there is now a real danger that I might win the competition,” he said at the time, adding: “Even for me, that would be a joke too far.”

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John Sergeant and Kristina Rihanoff (Guy Levy/PA)

His decision came after then-judge Arlene Phillips said that if the journalist walked away with the glitterball, it would leave her feeling “desolate”.

Instead of rehearsing, he “sits and reads The Guardian”, she had said, adding: “There is nothing that is correct about his performances, he is just getting through the dances.”

In 2006, veteran comedian Tarbuck quit Strictly for health reasons.

The star said he was “absolutely devastated” to leave the show following a doctor’s assessment.

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Jimmy Tarbuck and Flavia Cacace (BBC/PA)

And in 2009, Olympic athlete Jade Johnson withdrew following an injury.

The long-jumper suffered a ligament tear in her knee during rehearsals.

She was left in tears after the problem forced her to miss a live programme, before she decided to withdraw completely.

Johnson was later quoted as saying that Strictly had damaged her chances at the London 2012 Olympics.

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Jade Johnson and Ian Waite (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

“Strictly has cost me my place in the ­Olympics. I thought the show injury had healed and I was ready to compete,” she said.

“Sadly it flared up just before the trials and made it ­impossible to get through them.”

PA

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