‘I’m absolutely devastated’ Alison Hammond upset over Strictly star Aljaz’s exit

This Morning: Alison Hammond 'devastated' over Alijaz's exit

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Strictly Come Dancing stars Nadiya Bychkova and Graziano Di Prima joined presenters Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary on Thursday’s episode of This Morning to discuss the show’s national tour. During their conversation, the stars also reflected on working with Alijaz after Alison shared how much his departure from the BBC competition upset her.

Last month Strictly Come Dancing professional Alijaz Skorjanec revealed he would be leaving the show after nine years.

The announcement came as a shock to many fans and co-stars who were looking forward to seeing him on the Strictly Come Dancing tour this year.

The 32-year-old admitted he made the decision to step back “a little while ago” but didn’t reveal his reasons for leaving.

Instead, he disclosed he had “exciting stuff” planned for the future.

In a lengthy statement released on Instagram, the dancer reflected on the call he received “in May 2013” which changed his life forever.

He shared: “A dream became a reality and it was the biggest opportunity for a 23 year old boy from Slovenia … stepping onto the sacred Strictly floor was the most nervous I had ever been.”

Aljaz continued: ”A little while ago I made the tough decision that Strictly 2021 would be my last.

“The show has given me an opportunity and freedom to create and express myself in front of millions of people every weekend for the last 9 years.”

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A post shared by Aljaž Škorjanec (@aljazskorjanec)

He then went on to thank the crew, his partners and the fans for their support over the years.

During This Morning, Alison, who was paired with Aljaz during her appearance on Strictly in 2014, revealed she was gutted he had left the series.

While discussing the professional line-up for the show’s upcoming tour she said: “Obviously Aljaz is not going to be in it.

“I’m missing Aljaz already, I know it’s only the first season he’s not going to be in it but Aljaz is not going to be there, I’m absolutely devastated.”


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His co-star Nadiya agreed: “Just the thought of him not being there…” as Graziano chimed in: “It’s so weird.”

The dancer continued: ”He’s one of the guys in the room, he is the one who makes us laugh. He’s like, ‘come on guys, let’s push, let’s go’. We’re gonna miss him so much.”

The announcement of Aljaz’s departure came not long after his fellow professional dancer Oti Mabuse announced she too was leaving the show.

In his statement, Aljaz also paid a touching tribute to his wife Janette Manrara who presents Strictly’s companion show Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two alongside Rylan Clark.

He penned: “To my bucka.. from picking songs, creating stories and choreographing steps we always did it as a team.

“Your talent and selflessness knows no bounds. We were dating when we started together on the show and now we are husband and wife.

“We got to perform with Andrea Bocelli, Michael Buble, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, BBC Symphony Orchestra.. moments I will keep in my heart forever. I LOVE YOU!”

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