Billie Shepherd ‘so gutted’ after injury forces her to quit Dancing On Ice

Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Billie Shepherd has said she is “so gutted” after withdrawing from Dancing On Ice following a fall on the rink.

The reality TV personality, 31, suffered moderate concussion after hitting her head while rehearsing with professional partner Mark Hanretty.

The former The Only Way Is Essex star’s exit was announced on Saturday after doctors said she must miss this Sunday’s show.

Contestants are only permitted one week’s bye and Shepherd had already missed last week due to a family bereavement.

Sharing a photo of herself with Hanretty ahead of what became their first and last dance on the ITV series, Shepherd wrote on Instagram: “I am so so sad that our @dancingonice journey has come to an end after an accident in rehearsals on Friday causing me a head injury, forcing us out of the competition.”

She described Hanretty as “a true friend for life” and “the most incredible partner throughout all of this”.

She added: “Thank you for being so kind, supportive, patient, understanding, and thank you for being such a happy, positive person when I needed it the most.

Dancing On Ice 2021
Billie Shepherd (Matt Frost/ITV/PA)

“It’s been a tough couple of weeks personally for me and coming back to skating this week has really been a great distraction.”

She continued: “I am so so gutted we can’t perform tonight, we worked so so hard on this week’s routine.

“However, although it has sadly been cut short, being part of @dancingonice has been the best experience, I have met some wonderful people and I actually feel quite proud of myself that I pushed myself so far out of my comfort zone and faced some of my biggest fears.”

She thanked the rest of the celebrity contestants and her followers for their support.

An ITV spokeswoman previously said in a statement: “During rehearsals for this week’s show, Billie Shepherd has had a fall.

Dancing On Ice 2021
Amy Tinkler previously joined the competition as a replacement (ITV/PA)

“Taking the expert advice of the Dancing On Ice medical team, she sadly cannot perform this weekend and will therefore now withdraw from the competition.

“We wish Billie well as she now takes the time to rest and recover.”

Shepherd is the third contestant to drop out of the series.

Denise Van Outen, 46, had to withdraw from the show after partially dislocating her shoulder during training.

The presenter and actress fell during rehearsals for the series launch and made her debut on the ice with her shoulder strapped up.

And earlier this month, Rufus Hound, 41, quit the show after testing positive for coronavirus.

Reserves Amy Tinkler, 21, and comedian Matt Richardson, 29, have stepped in to replace them.

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