Amanda Abbington pays tribute to 'dear friend' Angela Rippon as 79-year-old breaks silence on Strictly exit

Amanda Abbington pays tribute to 'dear friend' Angela Rippon as 79-year-old breaks silence on Strictly exit

WATCH NOW: Angela Rippon breaks silence after Strictly exit

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 20/11/2023

- 12:09

Updated: 20/11/2023

- 12:10

Angela Rippon has returned to social media for the first time since losing the dance-off

Amanda Abbington has joined a whole host of famous faces in sending sweet messages to Angela Rippon after the 79-year-old lost her spot in Strictly Come Dancing.

Despite leaving the show for "personal reasons", Abbington has proven her bond with Rippon remains as strong as ever - just as she did with a sweet gesture to pro dancer Luba Mushtuk after her departure.

Rippon lost to Bobby Brazier in Sunday's dance-off after the judges voted unanimously to save the EastEnders actor.

It was the third time Rippon had faced the dreaded dance-off, having previously seen off Adam Thomas and Krishnan Guru-Murthy - who was left "heartbroken" and in tears as a result.

Bidding farewell to the show, Rippon left pro partner Kai Widdrington in tears with her exit speech and now she's shared another message to her social media following after being axed from the show.

"Hello, everyone," Rippon began. "Well, by now, of course, you will know that my wonderful Strictly Come Dancing adventure has sadly come to an end.

Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington

Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington impressed throughout the competition


"I have to admit that appearing on that programme has been one of the most challenging, one of the most terrifying but also joyful experiences of my entire professional life."

Thanking her fans, Rippon went on: "And so much of me being able to do it is down to so many of you. I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you so much to all of you for your encouragement, the kind comments that you sent myself and to my partner, Kai Widdrington, and most importantly for your votes because that means that all of the work that Kai and I put in during the something that you enjoyed and were prepared to vote for."

Turning her attention to Widdrington, she continued: "Kai was just the most perfect partner and of course, he was the really important part of the equation really to getting to Blackpool as we managed this weekend. He's such a wonderful guy, a great dancer, terrific choreographer."

Before she signed off, Rippon teased fans would see her dancing again soon: "It's not quite the end of my Strictly adventure, not quite because all of us who started out two months ago will be performing a group number in the final in December.

Amanda Abbington lauded Angela Rippon

Amanda Abbington lauded Angela Rippon following her Strictly exit


"And I've also decided to take the plunge and do the national tour of Strictly Come Dancing which means we could be coming to an arena near you! I hope so because that will be an opportunity perhaps to meet some of you."

Abbington - who reportedly won't be reuniting with Rippon after turning down an invitation to the finale - was one of the first to praise her former cast mate following her departure.

The Sherlock star penned in response to Rippon's clip: "There she is. Congratulations on a beautiful and amazing run, my dear friend," followed by a number of love heart emojis.

Abbington wasn't alone with her praise as head judge Shirley Ballas also commented: "@bbcstrictly we are all so very very proud of you," followed by a love heart emoji.

WATCH NOW: Angela Rippon leaves Strictly 

Frontrunner Ellie Leach also weighed in: "Our queen, we love you so much! xxx."

Pro dancer Katya Jones shared her support as she penned: "We have been honoured to watch you on this dancing adventure and enjoy Ballroom dancing!!"

While It Takes Two host Fleur East added: "Watching your story has been amazing! You’ve inspired so many! Thank you for dancing for us every week xx."

And Widdrington simply showed his fondness for his celebrity partner as he replied: "You’re the best." (sic)

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