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Claudia Winkleman speaks out on stars quitting Strictly ahead of new season

‘We’re going to miss them so much’: Claudia Winkleman speaks out on stars quitting Strictly as she gears up to front the new series once again

Strictly Come Dancing is set to return to screens in just a matter of weeks as the BBC prepares to welcome back the contest.

And Claudia Winkleman, who hosts the show alongside Tess Daley, has spoken out on the departure of some of it’s dancers.

Following the news that professional dancers Oti Mabuse and Aljaž Škorjanec won’t be returning to the show, the TV personality admitted ‘We’re going to miss them so much’.

‘We’re going to miss them so much’: Claudia Winkleman, 50, has spoken out on stars quitting Strictly as she gears up to front the new series once again

Appearing on The One Show recently, Claudia detailed how much she would miss Oti and Aljaž – before admitting that she’s ‘the last to know’ anything at Strictly.

Dubbing herself ‘leaky’, Claudia explained: ‘Not only am I not allowed to say anything, they don’t tell me anything! 

‘They literally don’t tell me. They tell me after they’ve told Tess and the press because I’m leaky.’

End of an era: Oti Mabuse (pictured) is one of the professional dancers who won't be returning to the show for the new season

End of an era: Oti Mabuse (pictured) is one of the professional dancers who won’t be returning to the show for the new season

Way out: While Alja¿ ¿korjanec (pictured) also announced his departure earlier this year, after nine years on the show

Way out: While Aljaž Škorjanec (pictured) also announced his departure earlier this year, after nine years on the show 

Oti announced her departure from the show back in February after seven years, deciding to focus on other projects.

Leaving after winning the Glitterball trophy for two consecutive years with Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher, 37, and comedian Bill Bailey, 56 – Oti described her time on the show as ‘amazing’ in an Instagram post.

And following the news, a source claimed to The Sun that the show were struggling to find celebrities who could ‘match her appeal’ and that ‘rivals were knocking on her door’ with other opportunities that could ‘make her a bigger star’.

A TV insider told the publication: ‘While BBC bosses are obviously sad to see Oti leave Strictly, it does solve the growing problem of finding celebrities who could match her appeal.

They're back! Claudia hosts the show alongside Tess Daley, with the duo prepping for it's September 17 return

They’re back! Claudia hosts the show alongside Tess Daley, with the duo prepping for it’s September 17 return

Out of the loop: Appearing on The One Show recently, Claudia detailed how much she would miss Oti and Alja¿ - before admitting that she's 'the last to know' anything at Strictly as she is 'leaky'

Out of the loop: Appearing on The One Show recently, Claudia detailed how much she would miss Oti and Aljaž – before admitting that she’s ‘the last to know’ anything at Strictly as she is ‘leaky’

Although it was great to have someone like her adding so much glamour and fun, it was also creating a tricky new challenge for producers.

‘Her ever-growing profile saw rivals knocking at her door and she has been tempted away from the Beeb by the prospect of becoming an even bigger star.’

Meanwhile, Aljaž also won’t be returning to the show following his departure, after spending nine years as one of the professionals.

The dancer was accused of upsetting show staff with ‘aggressive and pompous behaviour.’

Busy: Oti's departure comes as she was inundated with other opportunities, with producers reportedly scrambling to find celebrity partners to match her newfound fame

Busy: Oti’s departure comes as she was inundated with other opportunities, with producers reportedly scrambling to find celebrity partners to match her newfound fame

Behaviour: While Aljaz (pictured with his wife Janette) was accused of upsetting show staff with 'aggressive and pompous behaviour' - which his representatives strongly denied

Behaviour: While Aljaz (pictured with his wife Janette) was accused of upsetting show staff with ‘aggressive and pompous behaviour’ – which his representatives strongly denied

And with sources adding he was ‘on the fence’ about leaving, the news was confirmed earlier this year as he decided to move onto other projects.

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.’

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.’

The new series is set to kick off on BBC One on September 17, with stars such as Kym Marsh and Kaye Adams set to hit the dance floor.

STRICTLY COME DANCING 2022: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?

KYM MARSH

Age: 46

Profession: Coronation Street star and presenter

Kym says: ‘I’m so delighted that this year they have! I’m a huge fan of the show and can’t believe I’m going to go from watching at home in my pyjamas to actually dancing in front of the judges in a glittery dress.’

RICHIE ANDERSON 

Age: 34

Profession: Radio presenter 

Richie says: ‘This is a dream come true! I cannot wait to get in those sparkles and sequins and shimmy across the most famous dance floor in the world!’

ELLIE SIMMONDS 

Age: 27

Profession: Former athlete 

Ellie says: ‘To be asked to be part of the Strictly family is just so exciting and I cannot wait, it’s going to so much fun.’

TYLER WEST 

Age: 26

Profession: Radio DJ

Tyler says: ‘It’s a show that means so much to me and my family and I can’t wait to seriously shake a leg on that shiny dance floor… with a side of sequins.’

ELLIE TAYLOR

 

Age: 38

Profession: Comedian

Ellie says: ‘Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins! I’m absolutely over the moon to be a part of Strictly 2022!’

TONY ADAMS MBE 

Profession: Retired footballer and manager

Tony says:  ‘To say I’m excited is an understatement – the lure of the sequins and the call of the salsa has me swapping my battered old football boots for a set of Strictly soft shoes’

  

JAMES BYE

Age: 38

Profession: EastEnders actor

James says ‘I’m not known for my shimmy or my twinkle toes – in fact my kids regularly laugh at my dad dancing but it’s an honour to be asked and I’m going to give it my best shot.’

HELEN SKELTON

 Age: 39

Profession: TV and radio broadcaster

Helen says: ‘I’m really excited to get stuck into a fun adventure. My family and friends have always loved the show and can’t wait for me to get started’

WILL MELLOR

Age: 46

Profession: Actor

Will says: ‘I know it will be a huge challenge but that’s what life is all about. This is also my Mum’s favourite show and she’s had a really tough few years so I’m doing this is for her as well. Bring it on!’

 KAYE ADAMS 

 Age: 59 

Profession: Television presenter 

Kaye says: ‘I said I wanted to make the last year of my fifties memorable and i can’t think of a better way of doing it than showing the world my two left feet. Pray for me!’ 

 JAYDE ADAMS

Age: 37

Profession: Comedian

Jayde says: ‘I’ve been a massive fan of the show for years. I feel like I’m watching myself in a dream and I can’t believe I’ve manifested this.’

MATT GOSS

Age: 53

Profession: Singer

Matt says: ‘I’ve been reclusive, I come and work and then go back to America. I thought, it’s time for me to come home and get out of my own way’

 MOLLY RAINFORD

 Age: 21

Profession: Singer 

Molly says: ‘I already know it’s gonna be an experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait to meet the rest of the Strictly family I’ll be sharing it with.’

FLEUR EAST

Age: 34 

Profession: Singer

Fleur says: ‘I’m equally nervous and thrilled to be part of this year’s Strictly line up. I’m excited to learn new skills and I want to soak up every moment of this magical experience.’

 HAMZA YASSIN

Age: 35

Profession: Wildlife cameraman and presenter

Hamza says: ‘I am absolutely over the moon to be joining Strictly 2022. Never in a million years did I think I’d be on such a cool show.’

 

 

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