Why Aljaž Škorjanec leaving Strictly Come Dancing after nine years
28 March 2022, 14:28 | Updated: 28 March 2022, 14:34
Aljaž Škorjanec has hit back at claims Strictly is 'fixed'
Why did Aljaž Škorjanec quit Strictly Come Dancing? Here's everything we know...
Listen to this article
The professional dancer announced he had quit on Instagram, following in the footsteps of Oti Mabuse who left earlier this year.
But why has Aljaž left and what has he said about the show? Here’s what we know…
Why is Aljaž Škorjanec leaving Strictly Come Dancing?
There has been no exact reason as to why Aljaž has decided to leave, but he has hinted he will be working on some different projects.
In an emotional social media post, he explained: "A little while ago I made the decision that 2021 would be my last.
“The show has given me the opportunity and freedom to create and express myself in front of millions of people every weekend for the last nine years."
He later added: “I have lots of exciting stuff planned that I will fill you in on soon. I can't wait to see what the future holds!
The BBC confirmed the star's decision on Twitter, with their own statement reading: "We are so sad to be saying goodbye to Aljaž after almost a decade as a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing.
"During his time on the series he has provided us with some unforgettable moments... 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."
Aljaž, 32, has been dancing since the age of five, and has won 19 Slovenian championships in ballroom and Latin.
He has won Strictly once in 2013 with Abbey Clancy, as well as coming in second place in 2017.
His other partners have included presenters Alison Hammond and Kate Silverton, as well as Call The Midwife star Helen George and models Daisy Lowe and Emma Weymouth.
On last year's show, he danced with Dragon’s Den star Sara Davies.
Aljaž is married to fellow Strictly star Janette Manrara, who now presents the spin-off show Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two.
Following the news of his departure, former Strictly pro James Jordan said: “One of the best pros ever to be on Strictly - FACT !! Also….. one of the nicest people
“You will be missed mate, I will certainly miss watching you!”
Helen George wrote: “Oh partner, you are amazing!! The best dancer and man. Can’t wait to hear what you’ll do next, but I know you will succeed in whatever you do. Proud to be a tiny part of your Strictly journey xxx”
Janette also shared her own message to her husband, writing on Instagram: “I cannot express the sadness in my heart to see @aljazskorjanec say goodbye to @bbcstrictly, but at the same time there is so much joy in my heart for what he has brought to the show these past 9 years.
“He makes every single person he encounters feel absolutely special; ask any of his partners throughout the years. He IS STRICTLY and what Strictly is all about; taking someone who wants to learn to dance, and making them truly fall in love with it.”
Hinting at what is to come, she added: “All good things come to an end, but with every ending comes new beginnings. I cannot wait for the exciting adventures life will have for him in the future because I know at the center of all of his endeavours will be kindness and love for whatever he does.
“Thank you for giving him all of the love and support you have these past 9 years…. And thank you @aljazskorjanec for always being my biggest inspiration in any and everything that I do. May that long continue. I love you, and you and I will forever and always “keep dancing” ❤️”