ENTERTAINMENT
27/10/2019 08:57 GMT

Strictly Come Dancing: Will Bayley And Professional Neil Jones Miss Out On Halloween Special After Suffering Last Minute Injuries

The Paralympian suffered a nasty knee injury after jumping off a table during rehearsals.

This weekend’s Strictly Come Dancing Halloween special was a fright night for some of its stars.

Both contestant Will Bayley and professional dancer Neil Jones were missing from Saturday night’s live show after suffering injuries in rehearsals.

BBC/Rex
Will Bayley and Neil Jones

Paralympian Will and his professional partner Janette Manrara failed to compete after he suffered a knee injury while jumping off a table during rehearsals.

And Kevin Clifton stepped in to dance with former Lioness Alex Scott at the eleventh hour after Neil also injured himself on Saturday morning.

Kevin, who won last year’s series with his girlfriend Stacey Dooley, only had 40 minutes to learn the routine before taking to the dance floor.

Despite the setback, the football star earned 34 points, one of her highest scores yet, for her couples’ choice street/commercial routine to the Ghostbusters theme.

Stacey took to Twitter to praise Kevin after he stepped in for Neil, saying: “Yes Kev. That’s why you are the damn king. He had 40 minutes to learn that routine. I am so proud.”

Doctors said Will’s injury is less serious than first thought, but forbid him from dancing.

According to Strictly rules, the table tennis player, who has arthrogryposis (a congenital joint contracture), got a bye and moved straight through to the next round.

In a pre-recorded video message, Will told viewers: “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).

“To hear the words that I absolutely can’t dance, it was just really gutting for me, but I need to recover now and come back even stronger next week.”

Janette told host Claudia Winkleman that Will was at home “taking care of himself, icing, resting and fingers crossed he comes back next week”.

A spokeswoman for the show said: “Sadly, Will Bayley was injured during training and medics have said he cannot dance in the show this weekend.

“Under the rules of Strictly Come Dancing, Will has been granted a bye to next week.

“Separately, Alex Scott’s partner Neil Jones received an injury whilst training this morning. Kevin Clifton has stepped in to partner Alex in tonight’s show.”

It was a better night for Michelle Visage who ended up at the top of the leaderboard with a score of 39 after wowing the judges with a foxtrot to the Addams Family theme alongside her partner Gionvanni Pernice.

Alan Carr, who appears alongside Michelle as a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, watched from the audience as the pair received a standing ovation.

Judge Craig Revel Horwood said he “absolutely loved it”, while Shirley Ballas said it was “superb” and her “favourite performance so far”.

Another celebrity will be eliminated from the show during Sunday night’s knock-out episode.

Photo gallery Strictly Halloween See Gallery