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Strictly Come Dancing's Nigel Harman pulls out of series

nigel harman for strictly come dancing 2023, a man stands with hands in pockets looking at the camera and smiling, he wears a black suit with bow tie and is surrounded by glitterballs
Strictly's Nigel Harman out of series with injuryKieron McCarron - Getty Images

Strictly Come Dancing contestant Nigel Harman has pulled out of the 2023 series of the reality show, with just a few hours to go until tonight's live quarter-final.

Casualty star Nigel, who was paired with professional dancer Katya Jones, will not be able to compete tonight and has left the competition due to an injury, it's been confirmed.

"Unfortunately Nigel has sustained an injury which means he will be unable to perform in tonight's show and has had to withdraw from Strictly," a statement shared on the BBC show's social media accounts confirmed.

Related: Strictly's Nigel Harman opens up on friendship with Harry Potter star David Bradley

A caption on the official Strictly account's Instagram post added: "Unfortunately, Nigel Harman and Katya Jones have had to withdraw from the competition.

"We wish Nigel a speedy recovery and they both will be very much missed by our entire Strictly family."

For Musicals Week, which has become a Strictly tradition around the quarter-finals stage in recent years, Katya and Nigel had been due to perform a Charleston to 'Step in Time' from Mary Poppins.

The duo appeared on Strictly's spin-off show It Takes Two only last night (Friday, December 1), to reflect on last week's rumba. Katya said she felt "relief and joy and happiness" at making the quarter-finals with Nigel.

strictly come dancing 2023, nigel harman and katya jones foxtrot, katya is wearing a long orange dress and nigel is wearing a white shirt, black trousers and braces
Guy Levy - BBC

Nigel added: "It's brilliant for her, it's brilliant for us, it's Musicals Week as well, which is, y'know, for me is a great week – I love musicals. We feel just kind of really grateful to be here, really."

On escaping the dance-off after finishing second from bottom of the leaderboard last week, the former EastEnders star said: "That's two weeks in a row that you've been kind enough to save us!

"It's been kind of a bit overwhelming... that people are sitting there voting for us – because it's something that we don't get to see. So it's amazing to think [of it].

"But the leaderboard is so condensed, and there are so few of us – someone has to be at the bottom. So we don't mind!"

Teasing their planned routine prior to his injury, Nigel added: "We've got this banger this week.

"It's full-on showbiz, we've got four backing dancers, we've got all split levels, there's leaps and there's carries and we're flying around – I end up needing oxygen every time we do it!

"So it is full on. But it's exciting, isn't it?"

Strictly Come Dancing airs on Saturdays and Sundays on BBC One, while spin-off Strictly: It Takes Two airs on weeknights on BBC Two. Both shows are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Tickets for Strictly's 2024 live arena tour are available now.

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