Belfast Telegraph

Will Bayley pulls out of Strictly Come Dancing due to injury

The Paralympian hurt his knee during training last week.

Will Bayley (Ray Burmiston/BBC/PA)
Will Bayley (Ray Burmiston/BBC/PA)

By Julia Hunt, PA Entertainment Correspondent

Will Bayley is leaving Strictly Come Dancing after injuring himself during rehearsals.

The Paralympian, 31, said he was “gutted” to have to pull out of the BBC competition after hurting his knee last week.

Bayley and his professional partner Janette Manrara already had to sit out this weekend’s shows.

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Janette Manrara and Will Bayley (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

He said: “I’m gutted my Strictly journey has had to come to an end.

“I’ve loved being part of the show and am so grateful for the phenomenal support we have received.

“I want to say a special thank you to Janette for believing in me and giving me the confidence to believe in myself.

“The things we achieved, from our couple’s choice dance through to the lifts in our salsa, will stay with me forever.

“I’ve had the time of my life.”

He is an incredible and talented person who has brought us some unforgettable moments this series Executive producer Sarah James

Manrara said she was “absolutely devastated” that she and Bayley could not continue dancing.

“We made some incredible memories that I will never forget and I am pleased to have shared them with such an inspirational person whom I can now call a friend for life,” she said.

Strictly’s executive producer Sarah James said: “We are so sad that Will is unable to continue on the show.

“He is an incredible and talented person who has brought us some unforgettable moments this series – in particular his powerful and moving couple’s choice routine.

“He will be greatly missed and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

Bayley hurt himself jumping off a table during training.

He said in a a pre-recorded video message at the weekend: “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).”

Bayley and Manrara will be on It Takes Two on Wednesday night from 6.30pm on BBC Two.

PA

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