Dame Darcey Bussell steps down as Strictly Come Dancing judge

Dame Darcey Bussell steps down as Strictly Come Dancing judge

Dame Darcey Bussell is stepping down as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing after seven years on the panel.

The former ballerina, 49, said she was leaving to focus on other dance commitments.

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Judges Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood arrive at Blackpool Tower Ballroom ahead of Strictly Come Dancing's Saturday evening show.
Darcey Bussell and Adam Cooper performing a routine from Pas de Deux, during the Darcey Bussell evening at London's Hampton Court Palace Festival.
Dame Darcey Bussell steps down as judge from 'Strictly Come Dancing'
File photo dated 22/01/19 of Dame Darcey Bussell who has stepped down as a judge from Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC has said.
Dame Darcey Bussell attending the press night of Rip It Up, at the Garrick Theatre in central London.
Darcey Bussell attending the National Television Awards 2019 held at the O2 Arena, London.
(left to right) Jason Momoa, Darcey Bussell and Bill Bailey during the filming of the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening.
Darcey Bussell during the filming of the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening.
File photo dated 27/08/18 of (left to right) Strictly Come Dancing judges Craig Revel-Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli, who are to appear together on the arena tour for the first time, it has been announced.
(left to right) Colin Jackson, Dame Darcey Bussell and Max Whitlock before taking part in a mass workout for National Fitness Day at City of London Corporation's Guildhall Courtyard.
Dame Darcey Bussell and Colin Jackson during a mass workout for National Fitness Day at City of London Corporation's Guildhall Courtyard.
Dame Darcey Bussell and Colin Jackson during a mass workout for National Fitness Day at City of London Corporation's Guildhall Courtyard.
Bruno Tonioli, Shirley Ballas, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel-Horwood arriving at the red carpet launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2018, BBC Broadcasting House, London. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS
Darcey Bussell arriving at the red carpet launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2018, BBC Broadcasting House, London. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS
Darcey Bussell and Shirley Ballas arriving at the red carpet launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2018, BBC Broadcasting House, London. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS
Darcey Bussell arriving at the new Royal Academy of Arts Opening Party in London, celebrating their 250th anniversary year and the opening of their new campus in Burlington Gardens.
Darcey Bussell following an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London, where she was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire.
Darcey Bussell (left) and Bruno Tonioli at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2018 held at The Broadcasting House, London.
Darcey Bussell from London is made a Dame Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London.
Darcey Bussell from London is made a Dame Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London.
Bruno Tonioli and Darcey Bussell arrives at the BBC event Bruce: A Celebration at the London Palladium, which will honour the life of the late entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth.
EDITORIAL USE ONLY Darcey Bussell attends the launch of 'Imagination Matters', a global campaign to promote the importance of imagination in all walks of life, London.
Bruno Tonioli and Darcey Bussell at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2017 at Broadcasting House in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 28th, 2017
Craig Revel Horwood, (L-R) Darcey Bussell and Shirley Ballas at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2017 at Broadcasting House in London. at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2017 at Broadcasting House in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 28th, 2017
Bruno Tonioli and Darcey Bussell at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2017 at Broadcasting House in London.
The Prince of Wales talks to Darcey Bussell (centre) and Esther Rantzen during a reception to mark the Duchess of Cornwall's 70th birthday at Clarence House in London.
Darcey Bussell in the royal box of centre court on day eight of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.
Former Principal dancer at The Royal Ballet and Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell comes face-to-face with Edgar Degas's sculpture, Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, at a reception organised by the Royal Academy of Dance, of which Bussell is President, at Stair Sainty gallery, Mayfair.
Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell arrives at the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool, ahead of this weekend's show.
Darcey Bussell at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2016 at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire. Picture date: Tuesday August 30, 2016. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment
Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman and Darcey Bussell at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2016 at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire. Picture date: Tuesday August 30, 2016. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment
Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell and Len Goodman at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2016 at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire. Picture date: Tuesday August 30, 2016. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment
Darcey Bussell attends Ladies day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival 2016, Goodwood Racecourse in Chichester
Darcey Bussell arriving at the National Television Awards 2016 held at The O2 Arena in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. See PA story NTAs. Picture date: Wednesday January 20, 2016. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Darcey Bussell attending the World Premiere of Spectre, held at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Darcey Bussell and Len Goodman arriving at the Strictly Come Dancing Red Carpet Launch held at Elstree Film Studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire
Darcey Bussell in the Sunderland Room in Althorp House, in Northamptonshire. The Althorp Literary Festival takes place at Althorp House, home of the Spencer family annually.
Darcey Bussell on the red carpet at the National Television Awards 2015 held at the O2 Arena, London. This year the NTAs are celebrating their 20th year.
(left to right) Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood attending the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2014, at Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.
Judge Darcey Bussell arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.
Former principal ballerina Darcey Bussell on day three of Glorious Goodwood at Goodwood Racecourse, Chichester.
Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell arrive at the Northern Ballet's The Great Gatsby at the Sadler's Wells theatre in London.
Darcey Bussell, Kimberley Walsh and Tess Daly backstage at The National Television Awards 2013, The O2 Arena, Greenwich, London.
Darcey Bussell and Dermot o'Leary dancing on stage during the 2013 National Television Awards at the O2 Arena, London.
Darcey Bussell and Dermot o'Leary dancing on stage during the 2013 National Television Awards at the O2 Arena, London.
Darcey Bussell and Dermot O'Leary during the 2013 National Television Awards at the O2 Arena, London.
File photo dated 01/11/12 of Darcey Bussell who has confirmed she will return as a judge for a second year on Strictly Come Dancing and said she was "delighted" to remain with the show.
Darcey Bussell at the filming of the Graham Norton Show (TX: 22.35 Friday November 2, BBC One), at The London Studios in south London.
Len Goodman and Darcey Bussell at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2012, BBC TV Centre, London.
Darcey Bussell and Katherine Jenkins performing the musical "Viva La Diva" at the Hammersmith Apollo, London.
Darcey Bussell and Katherine Jenkins performing the musical "Viva La Diva" at the Hammersmith Apollo, London.
Darcey Bussell performs during the press night for Viva La Diva at the Lyric Theatre, The Lowry, Salford Quays in Manchester.
Darcey Bussell and Katherine Jenkins perform during the press night for Viva La Diva at the Lyric Theatre, The Lowry, Salford Quays in Manchester.
Darcey Bussell arrives for the South Bank Show Awards at the Savoy Hotel in central London.
Darcey Bussell arrives for the Armani show during the London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2007 Collections, at the Earls Court exhibition centre, west London. Picture date: Thursday September 21, 2006. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA
Ballerina Darcy Bussell stands next to the Darcey Bussell Rose at the David Austin Roses stand in the Chelsea Flower Show in west London, on Monday 22nd May 2006.
Darcey Bussell arriving.
Ballerina Darcey Bussell OBE with the children's book character 'Angelina Ballerina' during a photocall to celebrate the release of Angelina Ballerina's book 'How to be a Ballet Star' - with £1.50 from each sale being donated to Comic Relief for Red Nose Day.
Ballerina Darcey Bussell OBE during a photocall to celebrate the release of Angelina Ballerina's book 'How to be a Ballet Star' - with �1.50 from each sale being donated to Comic Relief for Red Nose Day.
Camilla Parker-Bowles meets Darcey Bussell after the glitzy winter gala at the Royal Opera House, London. During an impromptu speech on stage, The Prince of Wales made light of the furore that erupted following the disclosure of his controversial memo and told the packed auditorium "I just wanted to say to all of you I think we have had a wonderfully old fashioned treat tonight." The fundraising event in Covent Garden, London, included performances by Royal Ballet principal dancer Darcey Bussell and artistes from the Royal Opera House.
Principal Ballerina Darcey Bussell during a photocall at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden here new sponsorship deal with Travelex was announced to give members of the public the chance to buy tickets at just 10.
Leading British ballerina Darcey Bussell wears a Scott Henshall dress at the launch of the new aluminium Audi A8 in London. The car makes its official British debut at the Birmingham International Motorshow.
Darcey Bussell from the Royal Ballet poses at the launch of the Marks and Spencer active range. 11/09/2003: Renowned ballerina Darcey Bussell is pregnant with her second child, she announced, Thursday September 11, 2003. The Royal Ballet star is now pulling out of all her performances for the coming season. However she insisted she has no plans to retire, and will eventually return to the stage after the February birth.
Ballerina Darcey Bussell , models the new 'View From' sportswear range from Marks and Spencer at their launch in central London.
Ballerina Darcey Bussell arriving at the premiere of British film Billy Elliot, at the Empire cinema in London's Leicester Square.
Ballet dancer Darcey Bussell stand in front of a photograph of herself (left) at the opening of a retrospective exhibition of Lord Snowdon's photographs, at the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Ballerina Darcey Bussell arrives for the film premiere of Neil Jordan's 'The End of the Affair' at the Curzon Cinema in London.
Opera tenor Placido Domingo and ballerina Darcey Bussell following the Royal gala performance at the opening of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
Cherie Blair, wife of Prime Minister Tony Blair, with ballett dancer Darcey Bussell during the opening of The Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House in central London.
Cherie Blair, wife of Prime Minister Tony Blair, with ballett dancer Darcey Bussell during the opening of The Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House in central London.
Royal Ballet star Darcey Bussell opens the doors of the Royal Opera House box office in Covent Garden, London, to welcome the first opera and ballet fans ready for the building's relaunch in December, where it will reopen to the public with a gala celebration. * ...after a 214 million rebuild nearly 29 months after the curtain last came down.
Darcey Bussell performing a routine from Pas de Deux, during the Darcey Bussell evening at London's Hampton Court Palace Festival.
Principal dancer with the Royal Ballet Company Darcey Bussell, unveils a portrait of herself, painted by Russian portrait artist Alla Tkachuk, 32, at the Royal Ballet School in London.
PA NEWS PHOTO 29/9/97 BALLERINA DARCEY BUSSELL WEARING ONE OF THE MULBERRY COLLECTION DESIGNS THAT WAS PRESENTED ON THE FIFTH DAY OF LONDON FASHION WEEK
Darcey Bussell beside her waxwork model at Madame Tussauds wax museum in London.
Royal Ballet principal dancers, Darcey Bussell and Stuart Cassidy pose for the media outside the Labatt's Apollo in west London today (Mon) at the launch of the company's forthcoming Autumn season to be staged at the theatre while their traditional venue, The Royal Opera House, is redeveloped. Photo by Michael Stephens/PA.
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She said: "It has been a complete privilege for me to be part of Strictly, working with such a talented team.

"I have enjoyed every minute of my time and will miss everyone from my fellow judges, the presenters, the dancers, the musicians, the entire back stage team, and especially the viewers of the show, who have been so supportive.

"I am not leaving because of any upset or disagreement at all, I am just stepping away to give more focus to my many other commitments in dance, after seven truly wonderful years that I can't imagine having gone any better.

"I know I will miss being part of this unique show and the fact that it celebrates dance is something I am so passionate about. I hope that I may be very lucky to be asked back again one day."

Dame Darcey was a guest judge on the programme in 2009 and joined the panel permanently in 2012.

It is not known who will replace her alongside judges Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood.

Craig Revel-Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli  on Strictly
Craig Revel-Horwood, Dame Darcey Bussell, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli (PA)

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content, said: "It has been an absolute honour to have Darcey, a national treasure and British dance icon, bring her passion for dance and her graceful presence to the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel for seven consecutive years.

"She will be thoroughly missed by us all and will of course remain part of the Strictly family in the future."

Suzy Lamb, MD, entertainment and music, BBC Studios, said: "We feel very fortunate to have had Darcey on the Strictly judging panel for seven glorious years.

"Her exceptional knowledge of dance and generous spirit have helped many a celebrity keep dancing.

"Darcey is much loved by the entire Strictly family and I know will be missed in both the ballroom and in sitting rooms across the country."

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