Strictly Come Dancing takes an unforeseen turn as Amanda Abbington quits show

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The Sherlock star missed last week’s Saturday night live program for medical reasons, and it is now confirmed she will not come back to Strictly.

Amanda Abbington, renowned for her role in the BBC's Sherlock series, recently made a shocking decision to exit the popular dance competition show, Strictly Come Dancing, and the circumstances surrounding her departure have ignited curiosity and speculation among fans.

Rumors of fallout with dancing partner

The 49-year-old actor's unexpected exit came after she missed a Saturday show, citing 'medical reasons' for her absence, as per The Independent. However, it's her shifting statements and the omission of her professional dance partner, Giovanni Pernice, that have led to raised eyebrows and fueled rumors of potential behind-the-scenes tensions. Rumors and controversies have been no strangers to the Strictly Come Dancing sphere, with its history marked by numerous instances of backstage drama and off-screen tensions.

Strictly Come Dancing Amanda Abbington departure reasons Karwai Tang

Initially, Abbington shared a quote related to mental health, addressing her absence from the show, but she refrained from explaining the specific cause. The cryptic statement was followed by another announcement in which she attributed her withdrawal to 'personal reasons.' Taking to social media, she conveyed, 'It is with deepest regret that I had to leave Strictly. I did not come to this decision easily or lightly but for personal reasons, I am unable to continue.' She also expressed her fondness for her fellow contestants and the production team, whom she referred to as 'kind and caring'.

The peculiarity arose from the absence of any mention of Giovanni Pernice, her dance partner, in her latest statement. Just a day before her departure was officially announced on Strictly's companion show, It Takes Two, Pernice had shown his support for Abbington, saying, 'Amanda... I am so sad we can't continue but I am proud of what we achieved, and I am sending you so much love.'

Pernice, who himself was rumored to leave the show in October last year, also shared a heart emoji in response to her post about her departure. The stark contrast between Pernice's public support and Abbington's silence regarding her dance partner has ignited speculation among fans and the media.

It's worth noting that in past instances when contestants have had to withdraw from Strictly Come Dancing, they have consistently thanked and praised their respective dance partners. For example, when Peep Show star Robert Webb exited the competition due to health concerns, he expressed his gratitude to his partner, Diane Buswell. Similarly, Tony Adams, after pulling a hamstring and leaving the show in 2021, spoke highly of Katya Jones, calling her an 'exceptional human being.' - also amid rumors of a feuding.

Strictly Come Dancing Amanda Abbington departure reasons MEGA

Did Abbington fall out with Pernice?

However, in a twist to the tale, The Guardian claims that Abbington had indeed thanked Pernice in a previous social media post after successfully making it through to week five of the competition.

Amanda, known for her role in Sherlock, was among the initial participants announced for the show, alongside Angela Rippon and Layton William. She had a 16-year relationship with her co-star, Martin Freeman, who had remained tight-lipped about their split until recently. The 52-year-old actor first crossed paths with the 51-year-old Sherlock actress in 2000 on the set of Men Only but eventually separated after 16 years.

During their time together, they had two children, Joe and Grace. They also collaborated on several dramas, including Sherlock, although it's believed that Martin's career in the United States played a role in the end of their relationship. Despite their separation, the couple has emphasized that they maintain an amicable relationship.

Strictly Come Dancing will continue its schedule for the rest of the series, with one contestant eliminated each week until the grand final, as per The Digital Spy.

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© Dominique Charriau

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