Aljaž Škorjanec Leaves Strictly Come Dancing After Nine Years

"A little while ago I made the tough decision that Strictly 2021 would be my last."
Aljaž Škorjanec is leaving Strictly Come Dancing
Aljaž Škorjanec is leaving Strictly Come Dancing

Aljaž Škorjanec has announced he is leaving Strictly Come Dancing after nine years as a professional dancer.

The star revealed the news via social media on Monday – just weeks after fellow dancer Oti Mabuse exited the show after seven series.

Aljaž, who is married to former Strictly pro Janette Manrara, said his decision had been made prior to last year’s series, as he thanked his co-stars and celebrity partners from across his stint on the BBC show.

Recalling how a phone call on “a beautiful sunny day in May 2013″ changed his life Aljaž wrote: ”It went like this... we would like to offer you a position on @bbcstrictly as a professional dancer. A dream became a reality and it was the biggest opportunity for a 23 year old boy from Slovenia. It didn’t matter how many beautiful ballrooms I performed in during my competitive career, stepping onto the sacred Strictly floor was the most nervous I had ever been.

“A little while ago I made the tough decision that Strictly 2021 would be my last. The show has given me an opportunity and freedom to create and express myself in front of millions of people every weekend for the last 9 years.”

Aljaž, who won the 2013 series of Strictly with Abbey Clancy, went on to praise his fellow pros, stating that they “inspire and push you to be better every step of the way”.

“Every year the lineup of dancers would change but one thing stayed the same, WE WERE THE BEST! And this is one thing that I know will never change on Strictly!” he said, also paying tribute to those behind the scenes on the show.

“My beautiful partners - Abbey Clancy, Alison Hammond, Helen George, Daisy Lowe, Kate Silverton, Gemma Atkinson, Emma Weymouth, Clara Amfo and Sara Davies. It’s hard to put into words how many beautiful memories we have had. I LOVE YOU ALL!” he continued.

Addressing his wife Janette, who quit Strictly in 2021 to host spin-off show It Takes Two, Aljaž said: “Your talent and selflessness knows no bounds. We were dating when we started together on the show and now we are husband and wife. We got to perform with Andrea Bocelli, Michael Buble, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, BBC Symphony Orchestra.. moments I will keep in my heart forever. I LOVE YOU!

“And finally, thank YOU, the people that watch Strictly who have been so kind to me all these years. Every comment, vote, kind message never went unnoticed. You are the reason we all do it, thank you!”

Aljaž added that he had “lots of exciting stuff planned” that he will reveal “soon”.

“I can’t wait to see what the future holds!”

Aljaž is married to former pro dancer Janette Manrara
Aljaž is married to former pro dancer Janette Manrara
Dave J Hogan via Getty Images

Paying tribute to Aljaž, Strictly executive producer Sarah James said the team was “so sad to be saying goodbye” to him.

“Since lifting the glitterball with Abbey Clancy in his debut series he has become a firm favourite with viewers across the country. During his nine series he has provided us with some unforgettable moments on the show through his incredible choreography, passion for dance and heart of gold.

“He will be missed by his Strictly family, both on and off the dancefloor, and we wish him only the very best as he embarks on his next chapter.”

The BBC said that further details regarding the new series, including the professional dancer line-up, will be confirmed in due course.

Oti Mabuse previously revealed she will not be returning to the show, and opened up about her decision to quit in an interview over the weekend.

Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One in the autumn.


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