The Strictly Come Dancing stalwart spoke out about Dianne Buswell’s early exit from the series due to celebrity partner Robert Webb’s ill health. Appearing on Channel 4‘s Steph’s Packed Lunch, the 31-year-old choreographer called his colleague “absolutely brilliant” and confessed he was devastated by her withdrawal from the BBC show.
“We just have to make sure every step of the way that they’re okay,” he explained, referring to the celebrity partners the dancers are paired with.
“And Dianne is one of the best people on the show when it gets to that, and I’m absolutely gutted for that she won’t be able to continue on the series.
“She’s done such an incredible job from that first dance – it was absolutely brilliant – to the last one they did when they were Muppets.
“But obviously we all want to make sure that our celebrities are okay.”
He went on to wish Robert a full recovery: “And health always comes first, so I do wish that Rob is going to be okay and I’m sending them all my love.”
It comes as the shock announcement stunned Strictly Come Dancing fans on Tuesday evening.
The comedian had open heart surgery two years ago, and said by joining the competition he had “bitten off more than he could chew”.
The 49-year-old had just scored 25 in week three’s Movie Week, where he donned a Kermit the Frog outfit as the couple danced to The Muppets.
Fans quickly sent well-wishes to Rob, with Tania writing: “Such a shame this you were doing so well Robert, but health more important. Take care.”
Lynda commented: “Aw, sad to see him & Dianne leave sounds like a wise decision. Hoping we might see them in the audience or on It Takes Two soon x.”
“It’s sad that there will be no more dancing for now but it’s been brilliant. Look after yourself as that comes first,” Debra penned.
Yvonne Stobie shared: “Well done Robert and Dianne on your 3 amazing performances, you were doing so well but your health is more important.”
Martin remarked: “Sensible and health comes 1st.
“Of course a shame and clear the effort both had put in to the dances… they had started the journey…”
The Peep Show star took to Twitter himself, where he told his 529,000 followers: “Very sad to be leaving.
“Huge thanks to Dianne for being so brilliant and to everyone for watching (and voting!)”
Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 6.45pm on BBC One.