Nigel Harman pulls out of Strictly Come Dancing

There was no elimination or public vote on tonight’s Strictly Come Dancing after actor Nigel Harman was forced to pull out after an injury.

The Casualty star had been due to dance a Charleston in the quarter final with professional partner Katya Jones.

Opening the show, host Claudia Winkleman said “Unfortunately Nigel has sustained an injury… and has had to withdraw from the competition.”

Viewers will be able to vote next week on who goes through to the final.

Co-host Tess Daly clarified that the judges would still be scoring the dance and their votes would be carried over to next week.

Initial reports suggested Harman had suffered a leg injury, but it was later clarified by the BBC that it was a rib injury.

Speaking on the show, Harman said he was “leaping off a rostrum, about to be caught by some very handsome men. As I flew I was Peter Pan. As I landed I was in A&E.”

“I’ve done something to my rib basically and it’s quite painful.”

The remaining celebrities are actress Ellie Leach, tennis star Annabel Croft, theatre and TV star Layton Williams and EastEnders actor Bobby Brazier.

Nigel Harman and Katya Jones dancing the rumbaIMAGE SOURCE,PA MEDIA
Image caption,

Fans wished Harman well – they last saw him dancing a rumba last week

Saturday’s show saw judge Craig Revel Horwood award his first 10 of the season to Layton Williams, who got a maximum score of 40 with partner Nikita Kuzmin.

Ellie Leach scored 36 for her quickstep with partner Vito Coppola, Annabel Croft got 33 for her foxtrot with Johannes and Radebe and Bobby Brazier got 34 for his salsa with Dianne Buswell.

Last Saturday, Harman and Jones danced a rumba to a cover of ‘It’s All Coming Back to Me Now’ by Celine Dion.

The pair were given a score of 33 points by the judges.

Harman told the Strictly spin-off show It Takes Two on Friday that the routine the pair had been practicing this week had been a step-up in intensity from last week.

“The rumba, just sort of mincing around and wafting my hips in the general directions was lovely, maybe one bead of sweat,” he said.

“This week, St John’s ambulance is on standby. This is the complete other end of the scale.”

The quarter final is “musicals week” and Harman had been due to dance to Step in Time from Disney’s Mary Poppins.

A post on the show’s Instagram page wished him a “speedy recovery”, adding the couple will be “very much missed by our entire Strictly family”.

Strictly fans took to social media to express their concern for Harman at the news.

“Wishing Nigel a speedy recovery, it’s such a shame to get this far and sustain an injury that is forcing him to quit, but health has to come first,” one fan wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“Heartbroken for Nigel & Katya. Their Charleston looked fantastic,” another wrote. They added that they thought the dance show should not have an elimination tonight.

Another said Harman should have “a free pass” into next week.

The star had said he was “amazed, excited, and terrified” when he was confirmed in August to be doing Strictly.

He added: “As an armchair fan of the show I have watched in awe as people have twirled and gyrated across the screen. And now it’s my turn… gulp!”

However, he and Jones were absent from the line-up of participants taking part in the Strictly Come Dancing live UK tour next year.

Harman is not the first to quit this year’s show.

In October, actress Amanda Abbington withdrew from Strictly, citing “personal reasons” for being “unable to continue”.

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