BBC breaks silence on claims Strictly crew are 'relieved' by Nigel Harman exit as finale return confirmed

BBC breaks silence on claims Strictly crew are 'relieved' by Nigel Harman exit as finale return confirmed

WATCH NOW: Nigel Harman and Katya Jones bid tearful farewell to Strictly

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 04/12/2023

- 10:49

Updated: 04/12/2023

- 16:01

Nigel Harman and Katya Jones were forced to withdraw from the series this weekend

The BBC has hit back at reports that members of the Strictly Come Dancing crew were "relieved" by Nigel Harman's premature exit from the series.

On Saturday, Harman revealed he'd injured his rib in a tearful farewell interview alongside partner Katya Jones, leaving just four stars remaining in the contest.

As a result of Harman's bombshell withdrawal, Strictly bosses decided to avoid holding an elimination this past weekend and instead sent the likes of Ellie Leach, Bobby Brazier, Layton Williams and Annabel Croft straight to the semis.

His withdrawal came following a rollercoaster few weeks where he'd managed to avoid the dreaded dance-off but couldn't mask the fact he was "disappointed" with the critique several of his routines received.

In fact, following Blackpool Week, Harman even sparked concern after footage emerged that appeared to show him leaving the stage early once the cameras stopped rolling.

His reaction and reported "mood swings" backstage led to reports of "relief" among Strictly stars and crew members but the BBC has insisted this isn't the case.

Katya Jones

Katya Jones burst into tears as she bid farewell to the show


"It is always sad when a contestant leaves the show, particularly when an injury is sustained," a BBC spokesperson said.

"Nigel will be well missed by those who have worked alongside him on the show and everyone wishes him the very best and looks forward to seeing him at the final on Saturday, December 16."

The spokesperson also revealed if Harman would dance in the grand final as they added to "It’s a live situation, but the plan is that Nigel will be there, yes."

The BBC's emphatic slap-down of "relief" claims comes after a source said: "Nigel takes himself very seriously as a performer and throws himself heart and soul into things.

“So obviously he’s very emotional if things don’t go as he hoped. That often means that he can be like a bear with a sore head backstage.

“Viewers got a glimpse of that when he received disappointing scores for their quickstep in Blackpool.

“The crew and pros on the show are like a close family and the celebrities are welcomed into that. But if someone upsets that long-standing dynamic it can create bad feeling.

“Despite this everyone on the show also felt huge sympathy for Nigel having to leave the competition under such difficult circumstances," the insider told The Sun.

Nigel Harman

Nigel Harman was visibly disappointed with the Quickstep during Blackpool Week


While Harman and Jones's farewell was a major talking point from Saturday's show - especially after fans spotted a worrying detail in Jones's departure - the remaining stars' routines also caught the eye.

In particular, Williams hit headlines as he bagged the first perfect score of 40 of the series.

The decision sparked controversy among members of the Strictly fandom who felt Leach was the one who deserved to bag the first perfect score of the series.

Fans will be able to see who makes it to the Strictly final this weekend during the results show.

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