Amanda Abbington has issued a statement after it was revealed this week that she was withdrawing from Strictly Come Dancing for “personal reasons”.
The North London-born actress – whose career on the stage and screen has spanned over 30 years, and is best-known for her roles on ITV and BBC dramas Mr Selfridge and Sherlock – was partnered with veteran pro Giovanni Pernice on the current series of the ever-popular BBC reality competition show that’s been entertaining the masses each weekend for the last five weeks.
In what is a very strong year for the show, with many record-high scores and fan-favourite couples already emerging, the 49-year-old had been receiving plenty of praise from the judges.
And although she has been the subject of some online discussion and discourse over controversial comments she had previously made about the transgender community on social media earlier this year, the actress seemed popular with the voting public too, and was yet to find herself in the bottom two.
But in last week’s episode, it was revealed that Abbington was unable to compete – with undisclosed “medical reasons” cited as the reason.
It was then revealed on Monday evening (23 October) that she had “withdrawn from the competition”.
After much speculation on the nature of the situation, Strictly Come Dancing and BBC’s press office confirmed the news of Abbington’s withdrawal from the show with a statement that reads: “Amanda Abbington is unable to continue in Strictly Come Dancing and has decided to withdraw from the competition. The show wishes her all the best for the future.”
And now finally, Abbington has broken her silence and spoken out in her own statement on social media.
Taking to Instagram yesterday to address the situation, Abbington’s statement reads in full: “It is with deepest regret that I had to leave Strictly.
“I did not come to this decision easily or lightly, but for personal reasons, I am unable to continue.
“It was an absolute joy working with my fellow contestants – they are a beautiful, hardworking and talented group of people who I love and who I will miss seeing every Friday and Saturday and competing alongside.
“I want to thank the incredible production team and everyone on Strictly who looked after me and who are so kind and caring. It’s a wonderful bunch of people and I’ll miss all of them.
“I’m so sad that I am unable to go any further.”
Abbington closed out her statement by saying thank you to “everyone who voted and who sent wonderful messages and inspiring support”.
“You are all amazing. Truly. Thank you,” she concluded.
Abbington’s professional dance partner, Giovanni Pernice, also issued his own statement on Instagram following the news, which reads: “Amanda… I am so sad we can’t continue, but I am proud of what we achieved, and I am sending you so much love.”
Featured Image – Ray Burmiston (via BBC)
TV & Showbiz
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
The rumoured celebrity guest list at Chanel’s Manchester fashion show as first famous face arrives
When a name as big as Chanel comes to Manchester, you can surely expect at least a few celebrity guests to come with it.
And sure enough, on the even of the Metiers D’Art fashion show, we’ve clocked our first A-lister in our hometown.
Actor Kristen Stewart has been spotted leaving The Stock Exchange Hotel, Gary Neville’s five-star establishment that also hosted Post Malone earlier this year.
The city’s luxury hotels have reportedly all been booked out for Chanel’s prestigious, invite-only fashion show, which will be taking over the Northern Quarter on Thursday 7 December.
So exactly who else is rumoured to be touching down in the city for the show?
The biggest name drop so far is Margot Robbie, Australian actress and star of this summer’s runaway box office hit Barbie.
Margot has famously been one of Chanel’s most recognisable ambassadors.
The brand’s other famous faces include fellow actor Timothee Chalamet, who is the ambassador for Bleu De Chanel, and also tipped to be visiting Manchester this week.
There are currently huge billboards plastered with his face all over the city centre.
These types of events usually attract some sort of Kardashian/Jenner member, and with Kylie Jenner currently dating Timothee, the young couple may make an appearance – though most will be holding their breath for big sister Kim.
Kendall Jenner is also on the rumoured celebrity guest list, as the supermodel has previously walked for Chanel.
Lily-Rose Depp seems a likely name to appear – the model, actor, and daughter of Johnny Depp was personally chosen by the late Karl Lagerfeld to be a Chanel ambassador.
Some of the most famous celebrities in the entire world have been in the UK for various events in the last week, including Beyonce and Jay-Z, and Taylor Swift. Will any of them extend their stay to come up north?
And then there are those with a local connection, like for Manchester United legend David Beckham, with high-fashion wife and Spice Girl Victoria Beckham.
Harry Styles could crop up too, with his roots just down the road in Holmes Chapel.
Vogue editor Anna Wintour seems the most likely of all to be sitting front row on Thomas Street tomorrow night.
Sacha Lord has already confirmed that he has received an invite, and Andy Burnham may well be given a seat too.