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Nigel Harman has quit Strictly Come Dancing just hours before Saturday night’s live show after sustaining an injury.
The Casualty actor, 50, was gearing up to perform a Charleston to Step in Time from Mary Poppins with his professional partner Katya Jones for the quarter finals.
However, he has had to pull out of the BBC dance contest on medical grounds after sustaining an injury, which is said to have left him ‘really disappointed’.
The BBC confirmed to MailOnline: ‘Unfortunately Nigel has sustained an injury which means he is unable to perform in tonight’s show and has had to withdraw from Strictly.’
Nigel is not the only star who has quit the 2023 Strictly series after Amanda Abbington – who was paired up with Giovanni Pernice – quit in October due to medical reasons.
Nigel Harman (pictured after training on Monday) has quit Strictly Come Dancing just hours before Saturday night’s live show after sustaining an injury
The actor, 50, was set to perform a Charleston to Step in Time from Mary Poppins with his professional partner Katya Jones (both pictured on the show last week) for the quarter finals
However, he has had to pull out of the BBC dance contest on medical grounds after sustaining an injury, which is said to have left him ‘really disappointed’
Nigel reportedly missed training on Saturday morning amid his exit, after working ‘really hard’ in rehearsals to try and secure a place in the final.
A source told The Sun: ‘Nigel wasn’t in training this morning, and other dancers were informed later on in the day. He and Katya were really disappointed as they were hoping to stay in the competition.
‘They hadn’t been in the bottom two so had a real chance of making it to the finals.
‘Nigel has been training really hard and really through himself into rehearsals.’
Nigel shared his excitement about dancing in musicals week and the quarter finals just hours before his exit as he appeared on It Takes Two on Friday.
He gushed: ‘It’s brilliant for [Katya], for us. It’s musicals week as well. It’s a great week. I love it. We just feel really grateful to be here.’
Speaking to host Fleur East, Nigel also joked that ‘St John’s Ambulance’ were on standby this week as he discussed how gruelling the routine was after the slow-paced Rhumba last week.
He said: ‘Well I’m not going to lie. The Rhumba just sort of mincing around wafting my hips was lovely, maybe one bead of sweat.
‘This week St John’s Ambulance are on standby. This is completely the other end of the scale.’
The exit will no doubt be a blow to Russian dancer Katya as well as it was the furthest that the professional had gone in the contest in six years.
It also leaves just Ellie Leach, Bobby Brazier, Layton Williams and Annabel Croft still left in the contest battling it out in a bid to lift the iconic glitterball trophy.
After the BBC announced the news on social media, fans were quick to take to the comments section to share their dismay at the popular star’s exit.
Others also questioned whether there will still be a public vote after Nigel’s exit or if the date of the final, set for December 16, will change. MailOnline understands that the logistic details of any changes will be shared in Saturday night’s episode.
One fan wrote: ‘Absolutely gutted for him. He was heading to the final for sure. Speedy recovery Nigel.’
Another said: ‘I’m so upset for him I liked him,’ a third commented: ‘OMG I’m so gutted he was my favourite dancer.’
A fourth penned: ‘Thays such a shame I’m gutted for Katya too as he’s been her best contestant ages,’ and a fifth said: ‘That’s very sad after all his hard work.’
While another questioned: ‘Surely they need to stop an elimination next week then. 2 in a final doesn’t work.’
One added: ‘Please cancel tonight’s elimination, having a two person final is horrendously boring and anti-climactic.’
Other fans called for Strictly to bring back Angela Scanlon and her dance partner Carlos Gu because of Nigel’s unexpected exit.
During last Sunday’s dance off, Angela narrowly missed out on a place in the quarters after failing to win over the judges with her cha-cha-cha to Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, with Layton Williams and pro Nikita Kuzmin being saved.
Calling for her to be brought back, one fan said: ‘Can you bring back @angelascanlon PLEASE,’ and a second agreed, penning: ‘Bring back @angelascanlon.’
Another wrote: ‘Poor poor Nigel. He was so fabulous! But I saw someone say bring back Angela Scanlon! Great idea!’
In October, it was revealed that Katya had gone her separate ways with property mogul and ex-football player William Abbotts, who she had been dating.
After she split, Katya was said to be focusing on trying to push through to the Strictly final with Nigel, who is married to Lucy Liemann.
A source told The Sun at the time: ‘The union ran its course. Katya is single and focusing on the dance competition.
‘She knows she has a strong chance of making it to the final this year. She doesn’t want any distractions.’
Nigel is not the only star who has quit the 2023 Strictly series after Amanda Abbington – who was paired up with Giovanni Pernice – quit in October due to medical reasons