Joe-Warren Plant and his professional skating partner Vanessa Bauer have pulled out of Dancing On Ice after testing positive for coronavirus.
Emmerdale star Plant said he was “disappointed” to leave the competition early and thanked Bauer in a statement.
Three of this year’s skaters had already been forced out of the competition early through illness or injury.
Plant said: “Having tested positive for Covid, this now means the end of the competition for Vanessa and I.
“I have loved every minute of being a part of Dancing On Ice and I am disappointed as I feel I had so much more to give and was working hard to perfect each performance.
“Thank you so much to Vanessa for being a fantastic teacher and, although it’s been cut short, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this experience.”
Last week Plant and Bauer jointly topped the leaderboard after being awarded 32.5 points by the judges.
We can confirm that following positive Covid tests, @JoeWarrenPlant and @TheVanessaBauer have had to withdraw from this year's competition. They've been wonderful on the show and we thank them for all their dedication and beautiful performances ❤️ #DancingOnIce pic.twitter.com/Tg88lrhkfB
— Dancing on Ice (@dancingonice) February 12, 2021
They were the highest scorers alongside rapper Lady Leshurr and Coronation Street’s Faye Brookes.
Former athlete Colin Jackson, media personality Rebekah Vardy and radio DJ Sonny Jay are among the other skaters still in the competition.
Bauer said: “Joe-Warren has been growing every week into such a talented skater and I’m so sad we won’t be able to show more of the great routines we had planned.
“I am beyond proud and devastated, as we had so much more to show – he was the hardest working partner I’ve ever had.”
A spokeswoman for ITV said: “We can confirm that, following positive Covid tests, Joe-Warren Plant and Vanessa Bauer have had to withdraw from this year’s competition. They’ve been wonderful on the show this year and we thank them for all their dedication and beautiful performances.”
Last week it was revealed that comedian Rufus Hound was withdrawing from the competition after he tested positive for coronavirus.
Reality TV star Billie Shepherd also left the show early after injuring herself during a fall, while actress and singer Denise Van Outen withdrew after she partially dislocated her shoulder during training.
Singer Myleene Klass, former skier Graham Bell and comedian Matt Richardson have been eliminated from the competition.
– Dancing On Ice continues on ITV on Sundays at 6pm.