Robert Webb and Dianne Buswell forced to quit Strictly Come Dancing

Comedian Robert Webb arrives at the Sony Radio Academy Awards held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on May 12, 2008 in London, England
(Image credit: Getty Images / Jon Furniss/WireImage)

Robert Webb has revealed that he has left Strictly because of ill health and says he’d "bitten off more than he could chew".

Actor and comedian, Robert Webb has quit Strictly Come Dancing just three weeks after the start of the show, because of health issues. 

Robert, who was partnered with Strictly pro Dianne Buswell, and treated fans to the Tango and Quickstep during their time on the show, released a statement to It Takes Two explaining his sudden exit.

Robert, 49, revealed he’d "bitten off way more than he could chew" after undergoing open-heart surgery just two years previously. 

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He said in a statement, "I’m extremely sorry to have to announce that I’m withdrawing from Strictly Come Dancing due to ill health. Two years ago I had open-heart surgery and although I believed I was fit enough to take on Strictly and its demanding schedule, it became clear that I had bitten off way more than I could chew for this stage in my recovery.

"I had begun to feel symptoms that led me to seek an urgent consultation with my heart specialist, and it was her view that it would be better for the sake of my health to step back from the show."

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He continued, "I’m proud of the three dances that Dianne Buswell and I managed to perform and deeply regret having to let her down like this. I couldn’t have wished for a more talented partner or more patient teacher, and it’s a measure of Dianne’s professionalism and kindness that I was able to get as far as I did."

Robert then went on to thank Strictly viewers for their support, and thanked fellow heart patients for their support also, saying, "I think perhaps I was too eager to impress them. They will know that recovery doesn’t always go in a straight line, and I hope they’re not too disappointed that I ran into the limits of my resilience much sooner than I’d hoped."

He concluded his statement by saying he would continue to cheer on his fellow Strictly contestants and said it was an honour to compete on the show.

His pro partner, Dianne has also released a statement saying, "I wish him a speedy recovery. I feel lucky to have danced with him and to call him a friend."

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Lifestyle team and has recently earned her Gold Standard Diploma in Journalism from the NCTJ. She has a background in design, having studied Illustration at Plymouth University but has taken a leap into the world of journalism after always having a passion for writing. She currently writes pieces on beauty, fashion, and entertainment for and My Imperfect Life.