Shirley Ballas leads tributes to Dame Darcey Bussell
11 April 2019 - 9:00 AM

Shirley Ballas leads tributes to Dame Darcey Bussell

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Shirley Ballas has paid tribute to her "partner in crime" after Dame Darcey Bussell quit "Strictly Come Dancing".

The 49-year-old retired ballerina announced on Wednesday (10.04.19) she was stepping down as a judge on the BBC One Latin and ballroom show after seven series and following the news, her fellow panellist - who joined the show as head judge in 2017 - has thanked her "incredible" friend for all her support.

Shirley tweeted: "We've had the most laughs and fun times on the show. Today is certainly the end of an era. Thank you for holding my hand all the way and being such an incredible friend.

"You were my rock when I was new to the show and have always been so kind. I for one will dearly miss my partner in crime and our girly chats. It just won't be the same without you!"

Fellow judge Bruno Tonioli also paid tribute to his friend, describing Darcey as a "true national treasure".

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He shared a photo of a rose and wrote: "My darling @DarceyOfficial I will miss you so much your knowledge, beauty, talent, charm and elegance makes you a true national treasure. I will treasure all the time we spend together on and off screen."

He also posted a GIF featuring a crying baby and wrote: "#mood @DarceyOfficial what are we going to do...(sic)"

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"Strictly Come Dancing" presenter Claudia Winkleman thinks Darcey will be "so missed" from the panel.

She posted: "We love you Darcey. You'll be so so missed. Xx.(sic)"

Her fellow host, Tess Daly, and the other member of the judging panel, Craig Revel Horwood, have yet to comment on the news.

While Darcey - who has quit to focus on her "many other commitments in dance" - will not be a judge for "Strictly" 2019, she hopes to be asked back on the show at some point.

She said: "I know I will miss being part of this unique show and the fact that it celebrates dance is something I am so passionate about. I hope that I may be very lucky to be asked back again one day."

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