Strictly Come Dancing’s Robert Webb and Diane Buswell have left the competition – days before the fourth live episode.
The pair released a statement this evening confirming their departure – explaining that it was due to 49-year-old Robert’s poor health after major heart surgery.
Robert said in a statement: “I am extremely sorry to announce that I am withdrawing from Strictly Come Dancing due to ill health. I had open heart surgery two years ago and although I believed I was Strictly and its demanding Fit enough to take on the schedule, it became apparent that I had bitten off much more than I could chew for this stage in my recovery.
“I began to feel symptoms that led to an immediate consultation with my cardiologist, and it was his view that it would be better to withdraw from the show for the sake of my health.”
He continued: “I am proud of the three dances that Diane Buswell and I managed to perform and I am deeply sorry to disappoint her like this. I could not have wished for a more talented partner or a more patient teacher, And this is a measure of Diane’s professionalism and kindness that I was able to achieve as much as I did.
“Thanks also to everyone in the house who voted for us. It was always going to be a tough mountain to climb (for one thing it’s made of glitter so it’s very slippery) and I especially liked the fellow heart patients.” touched by the support of .
“I think maybe I was too eager to impress them. They would know that recovery isn’t always in a straight line, and I hope they aren’t too frustrated that I run out of my range of flexibility too quickly. Gone d hope.
“I let go of knowing that Strictly audiences are in very safe hands and I’ll be cheering for my brother and sister contestants until Christmas. Despite this sad ending, it’s a real honor to be a part of this huge, joyous and happy ending.” That’s it. The barking mad TV show. This could go on for a long time.”
Diane shared a tribute to Robert: “As a huge fan of Robert, I was delighted to learn that he was joining the Strictly family. On top of that, to find out that he was my partner, There was icing on the cake. We made a great team, worked hard and laughed a lot along the way.
“I am very proud of the three amazing dances we have created. I know Robert had a lot to offer in the competition but his health definitely comes first and I wish him a speedy recovery. I To dance with her and feel lucky to dance with her. Call her a friend.”
And Strictly’s Exec producer Sarah James said: “While we are so sad that Robert has withdrawn from the show, we fully understand and support his decision, health always comes first.
“Despite their Strictly Journey ending earlier than anyone expected, Robert and Diane really made their mark at the competition, with three unforgettable dances brilliantly choreographed by the brilliant Diane.
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“They’ve been an amazing partnership and we’d like to thank them for the commitment, creativity and joy they brought to the show. Everyone involved in Strictly Come Dancing sends Robert their love and best wishes for his continued recovery.”
Robert and Diane Strictly impressed audiences with their routines – recently performing for Movie Week by dressing up as Kermit the Frog and Ms. Piggy.
The Peep Show star opened up about his congenital heart defect earlier this month, where he revealed he was barely able to walk last year after undergoing emergency surgery to save his life.
He said at the time: “When I first came out of the hospital I couldn’t walk to the end of the street without help. I couldn’t even lift the kettle for four weeks.
“So slowly you build up again until you’re no longer hiking longer and longer. Then after seven months the walk turns into a run—and then you become a dancer.
“It wasn’t the first time he’d asked, and I knew there was a lot of potential between me and Strictly in the future.
Robert’s Health Fight
“But it goes back to heart surgery — now I feel like I’ve got something this show has to offer.”
Opening up about his diagnosis, the father of two shared: “It’s a birth defect – one of the valves in my heart had prolapsed instead of opening and closing well. It almost doubled in size.” It was a really weird shape and it was all just to keep the show on the road.
“My heart thought I was running up a hill while I was sleeping, and I hadn’t noticed. I thought: ‘Well, I’m tired, because I treat my body like a skip. .’
“I saw a cardiologist and they said I had ‘severe regurgitation’ – that the blood being pushed around my body was flowing backwards into a different chamber, causing all kinds of trouble. “
Robert was afraid he “won’t get to Christmas” as he recalled: “The cardiologist told me: ‘I’m not saying you’re going to have a heart attack in the next fortnight, but if we can do it next. If you don’t do it in a fortnight, it will be heart failure in two to three months.
Starr explained that he was “slow-killing” himself with alcohol, increasing the extent to which he believed he had become addicted.
But his near-death experiences, and being taken to the hospital gave him the blow he needed. He said: “It gives you a different perspective, because I was trying to quit drinking and smoking for the last five, six or ten years and it was really difficult.”
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