Amanda Abbington supported by BBC Strictly co-stars as she breaks silence after missing out on Ellie victory

Amanda Abbington supported by BBC Strictly co-stars as she breaks silence after missing out on Ellie victory

WATCH NOW: Amanda Abbington addresses Strictly backlash prior to 2023 stint

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 19/12/2023

- 13:37

The Strictly 2023 contestant was nowhere to be seen during Saturday's finale

Several members of the Strictly cast and crew have shown their support for Amanda Abbington after she returned to social media for the first time since Ellie Leach bagged the Glitterball on Saturday.

Abbington was a notable absentee from the finale after reportedly snubbing the chance to return following her exit early in the competition for "personal reasons".

Speculation has swirled as to exactly what the circumstances were that led to Abbington's decision to quit Strictly - with rumours of a feud with Giovanni Pernice continuing to circulate.

She was also the victim of brutal trolling from trans activists following comments she'd made on X, formerly Twitter, regarding drag queens before joining the line-up - although she released a video prior to the series insisting she wasn't transphobic.

But while she made a brief return to her Instagram story hours before the finale with a sweet message for this year's finalists, she's now shared her first post on her page since December 1.

Abbington avoided addressing her Strictly final absence and instead celebrated a "dear friend".

Amanda Abbington

Amanda Abbington had been performing with Giovanni Pernice


Alongside a professionally shot portrait of herself, Abbington penned: "My dear friend @drgotts is THE most phenomenal photographer and an all-round wonderful human. I do love him."

Among her followers who commented and liked the post were a number of Strictly alum.

Jenny Thomas, a choreographer on the show, replied: "Love it! Oozing beauty," followed by a series of love heart emojis.

While former judge Arlene Phillips also waded into the comments: "Love this."

Elsewhere, Strictly pros Luba Mushtuk, Carlos Gu, Karen Hauer and Graziano di Prima showed their support as they liked Abbington's social media post.

Angela Scanlon - whom Abbington threw her backing behind following her controversial dance-off exit - and other previous Strictly stars including Gemma Atkinson and Catherine Tyldesley also liked the photo.

Reports that Abbingon had decided not to attend the Strictly finale emerged last month and the BBC confirmed days prior to Saturday's show it would be the case.

A spokesperson for the corporation said, via The Mirror: "Amanda decided to withdraw from the competition, therefore she will not be returning for the final."

However, Saturday evening did see the return of Nigel Harman who was forced to quit the show alongside Katya Jones due to injury.

He and the rest of the Strictly line-up were back on the dance floor for one final time to put on a show-stopping group number.

Leach finished with the Glitterball despite having finished bottom of the leaderboard behind Layton Williams and Bobby Brazier.

Pro partner Vito Coppola broke down in tears during the live show as Leach dedicated the victory to him.

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