Belfast Telegraph

Will Bayley and Neil Jones both miss Strictly after suffering injuries

Neither the Paralympian nor the professional dancer competed.

Will Bayley and Janette Manrara on Strictly Come Dancing (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)
Will Bayley and Janette Manrara on Strictly Come Dancing (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Will Bayley’s future on Strictly Come Dancing has been thrown into doubt after he injured himself by jumping off a table during rehearsals.

The Paralympian, 31, and his professional partner Janette Manrara will not appear on either Saturday or Sunday’s programmes after he suffered a knee injury this week.

Professional partner Neil Jones, who is paired with football star Alex Scott, also did not appear after injuring himself during training on Saturday.

Kevin Clifton, who made an early exit from the competition this year with his partner Anneka Rice, stepped in to perform with Scott on Saturday night’s show.

Doctors have said Bayley’s injury is less serious than first thought, but have forbidden him from dancing.

According to Strictly rules, the table tennis player, who has arthrogryposis (congenital joint contracture), gets a bye and moves straight through to the next round.

Co-hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman revealed the news during the opening moments of Saturday night’s Halloween special on BBC One.

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Neil Jones and Alex Scott on Strictly Come Dancing (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

Winkleman said: “Now, you may have noticed that Will and Janette are missing from tonight’s line-up.

“Unfortunately, Will suffered a knee injury and although he was desperate to take part tonight, after a full medical check he has been told he absolutely cannot perform and must rest.”

Daly said she knew Bayley would be watching at home and wished him a speedy recovery.

She also confirmed Jones’ absence, saying: “Unfortunately, he also suffered an injury earlier today and is unable to dance tonight.

“Fortunately, the brilliant Kevin is stepping in to perform with Alex.”

In a pre-recorded video message, Bayley said: “I jumped off a table and as I landed, I landed with straight legs. I thought I had broken my legs as I had never felt anything like it before. But luckily, it’s not as severe as what I thought when I first did (it).

“To hear the words that I absolutely can’t dance, it was just really gutting for me, but I need to recover now and come back even stronger next week.”

Manrara said Bayley was at home “taking care of himself, icing, resting and fingers crossed he comes back next week”.

A spokeswoman for the show said: “Sadly, Will Bayley was injured during training and medics have said he cannot dance in the show this weekend.

“Under the rules of Strictly Come Dancing, Will has been granted a bye to next week.

“Separately, Alex Scott’s partner Neil Jones received an injury whilst training this morning. Kevin Clifton has stepped in to partner Alex in tonight’s show.”

Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC One.

PA

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