Will Bayley Leaves Strictly Come Dancing After Sustaining Injury Last Week

He and professional partner Janette Manrara will not be moving further in the competition.

Strictly Come Dancing star Will Bayley has announced that he will not be able to continue with this year’s series, after injuring himself last week.

While rehearsing for Saturday’s live show, the Paralympian hurt his knee and was unable to perform.

Bosses have now confirmed that he will be stepping down from the contest, saying in a statement: “Sadly due to his knee injury, Will Bayley is leaving Strictly Come Dancing.”

Will Bayley
Will Bayley
BBC/Ray Burmiston

Will said he was “gutted” at having to bow out early, explaining: “I’ve loved being part of the show and am so grateful for the phenomenal support we have received.

“I want to say a special thank you to Janette [Manrara, his professional partner], for believing in me, and giving me the confidence to believe in myself. The things we achieved, from our Couple’s Choice dance, through to our lifts in our Salsa, will stay with me forever. I’ve had the time of my life.”

Janette added that she was “absolutely devastated” at the news, saying: “We made some incredible memories that I will never forget, and I am pleased to have shared them with such an inspirational person who I can now call a friend for life.”

Before signing up for Strictly, Will – who was born with arthrogryposis, a condition which affects his joints – was best known for his efforts in the Paralympics, winning gold in 2016 for his table tennis abilities.

He previously said he had been motivated to take part in Strictly to “inspire people with a disability”, adding: “That would mean a lot... I want to prove to people I can do this.”

The pair’s highest-scoring routine was their Contemporary performance, where they moved judges Motsi Mabuse and Alfonso Ribeiro to tears with a dance inspired by Will’s life story.

Will is the second of this year’s stars to have to leave the competition due to an injury, with Made In Chelsea star Jamie Laing being forced to step down when he hurt himself recording the launch episode over the summer.

He was replaced by Kelvin Fletcher before the first live show of the series.

Professional dancer Neil Jones also missed Saturday night’s live show due to an injury of his own, with Kervin Clifton stepping in at the last minute to perform with Alex Scott.

A BBC rep declined to comment when contacted by HuffPost UK earlier about this.

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