Professional dancer Cameron Lombard is set to replace Aljaž Škorjanec in the next series of Strictly Come Dancing, after his surprise departure from the show.
Cameron, 21, joined the BBC1 show in 2021 as a professional and joined the live tour, but wasn’t paired with a celebrity for the series.
And as Strictly bosses get prepared for the 2022 series, they are making their youngest signing to date with the Cape Town native.
Switch up: South African dancer Cameron Lombard is set to replace Aljaž Škorjanec as a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing’s 2022 season
A Strictly source told The Sun: ‘Cameron is a big character, as well as a hugely talented dancer. He was disappointed not to get a partner for the last series but 2022 is set to be his year.’
‘He’s already a favourite with hardcore Strictly fans who have seen him on tour, and bosses are confident mainstream audiences will follow suit,’ they continued.
Cameron is the South African Latin Champion and even represented South Africa at the World Latin Championships in 2019 – also running his own dance school.
Cutting ties: Aljaž Škorjanec is leaving the show, with reports he ‘won’t be missed’
Solo series: Cameron, 21, joined the BBC1 show in 2021 as a professional and joined the live tour, but wasn’t paired with a celebrity for the series
He will be starring alongside other pro’s such as Johannes Radebe, Nikita Kuzmin and Kai Widdrington for the show.
It follow’s Aljaž’s departure from the contest, with reports that he ‘wouldn’t be missed’ from the show.
The dancer, 32, was previously accused of upsetting show staff with ‘aggressive and pompous behaviour.’
Acclaimed: Cameron is the South African Latin Champion and even represented South Africa at the World Latin Championships in 2019 – also running his own dance school
Familiar faces: He will be starring alongside other pro’s such as Johannes Radebe, Nikita Kuzmin and Kai Widdrington for the show
A source told The Sun that members of the crew were left ‘really upset’ by ‘incidents’ involving Aljaz during Strictly’s last series.
They added: ‘ ‘He verbally lashed out at various staff members behind the scenes in what some thought was an unnecessarily aggressive manner.
‘Aljaz was seen by some as arrogant and pompous too – and it left a bad taste in some of the staff’s mouths. Not many people will miss him.’
Claims: The dancer (pictured with his wife Janette Manrara) has been accused of upsetting show staff with ‘aggressive and pompous behaviour’
However a representative for Aljaz told the publication: ”Aljaz has the utmost respect for everyone working on the show and it is untrue to say he was forced out or acted in an aggressive manner at any time. It was Aljaz’s decision to leave the show after an incredible 9 years.’
‘Sarah James, Executive Producer of Strictly Come Dancing says: ‘We are so sad to be saying goodbye to Aljaž after almost a decade as a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing. Since lifting the glitterball with Abbey Clancy in his debut series he has become a firm favourite with viewers across the country.
‘During his nine series he has provided us with some unforgettable moments on the show through his incredible choreography, passion for dance and heart of gold. He will be missed by his Strictly family, both on and off the dancefloor, and we wish him only the very best as he embarks on his next chapter.’
Rumours: A source told The Sun that members of the crew were left ‘really upset’ by ‘incidents’ involving Aljaz during Strictly’s last series
Meanwhile, a source told the Daily Mail: ‘Aljaž had been on the fence about whether to stay on the show but has decided to go on and try different things.’
Aljaž himself seemed to keep things on a positive note, posting a heartfelt goodbye to the show via Instagram, thanking all of his previous partners, the team and his wife.
Born in Slovenia, Aljaž took to the dance floor at the age of five and enjoyed much success in his home country, where he won 19 Slovenian championships in Ballroom and Latin.
Popular: The pro dancer joined the show in 2013, with his most recent partner being Dragons Den star Sara Davies (pictured in November 2021)
Champion: Aljaž joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 and during his first year he lifted the Glitterball Trophy with Abbey Clancy (pictured)
For over a decade of competing, he represented Slovenia at a world level, then joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 – lifting the Glitterball Trophy with Abbey Clancy during his first year.
Other partnerships have included Alison Hammond, Helen George, Gemma Atkinson and Sara Davies.
Strictly Come Dancing, a BBC Studios Entertainment Production for the BBC, will return for its twentieth fabulous series on BBC One and BBC iPlayer later in 2022.
Further details regarding the new series, including the professional dancer line-up, will be confirmed in due course.
Missed: Since lifting the glitterball with Abbey in his debut series he has become a firm favourite with viewers across the country (pictured 2015)