Will Young quits ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ for ‘personal reasons’

Pop singer had been among the favourites to win the 2016 series

Will Young has announced he is leaving the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The pop singer survived the BBC1 dance contest’s first two eliminations, which saw TV presenter Melvin Odoom and EastEnders actress Tameka Empson voted off, but will not take part in the remainder of the series.

He said in a statement: “Unfortunately, I am leaving the show for personal reasons. I leave with joy in my heart that I have been able to take part in one of the most loved shows on British television. I am so grateful to everyone who works on Strictly from the lighting designer to catering to the production team. Strictly truly is the most unique family and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”

He also praised his professional dance partner Karen Clifton, adding: “I have found a creative partnership with Karen that has been the most wonderful thing to experience. I will be eternally grateful to her for her direction, talent and guiding me through three wonderful dances that I will be able to show my grandkids in years to come.”

The show said on Twitter that it “fully respects” Young’s decision to step away from the competition.

Young had been among the favourites to win this year’s Strictly Come Dancing series and placed joint-third on last Saturday’s show. However, he endured a slightly awkward encounter with head judge Len Goodman while his Saturday night performance was being appraised – watch below.