Strictly's Dan Walker 'glad' Ugo Monye and Oti Mabuse were voted out

Dan Walker BBC Breakfast, who is on Strictly Come Dancing 2021?
(Image credit: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing’s Dan Walker has revealed he’s “glad” rugby star Ugo Monye and Oti Mabuse were voted out of this week’s show. 

As soon as Strictly Come Dancing 2021 started (opens in new tab) fans across the UK have been immersed in watching the progress of this year’s contestants, from BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker to chef Tilly Ramsay (opens in new tab). Though unfortunately things haven’t gone quite as might’ve been anticipated over the past few weeks. Earlier this month comedic actor Robert Webb was forced to quit (opens in new tab) Strictly due to ill health and Judi Love and Graziano pulled out of Saturday’s show (opens in new tab) after a positive Covid-19 test. 

Meanwhile rugby star Ugo Monye and his professional partner Oti Mabuse, who’s previously announced that she’s leaving after this year (opens in new tab), had to pull out of a live show (opens in new tab) recently due to injury. Upon their return, the couple danced their hearts out, only to be voted out after finding themselves in the dreaded dance off.

Ugo Monye and Oti Mabuse

Credit: BBC

Now Strictly 2021 contestant and broadcaster Dan has spoken out about the departure of Ugo and Oti and revealed he’s actually “glad” they’ve left - for a truly heart-warming reason. Discussing the weekend’s result, Dan explained, “In some ways, I’m glad that he doesn’t have to dance anymore because I don’t want him to get hurt.”

This came after Ugo and Oti were unable to take part in the previous weekend’s show due to the retired rugby player’s “history of back problems”, something he expanded upon in a heartfelt Tweet to fans.

Dan also addressed this on BBC Breakfast, adding, “He’s been brilliant. And Oti’s done a great job with him. Ugo’s had all sorts of back problems during his career. He was fit to do the programme, but some of the stuff… it is a strain on your body.”

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The presenter also paid tribute to Ugo’s unforgettable time on the show and said, “He’s been brilliant. He’s been such an encouragement to everyone else, he’s such a great guy with everybody all the week through.”

Ugo and Oti’s sad exit comes as Dan and his professional partner Nadiya achieved an impressive score of 28 out of 40 for their elegant Viennese Waltz. This particular dance was made even more significant given that Dan danced to his wife’s favourite song.

Dan Walker’s wife (opens in new tab) Sarah was also given a sweet shout-out after he and Nadiya finished their performance. Speaking to Claudia Winkleman, Dan said, “I'm going to gush over her for a moment. Because she's one of those people, the more you know her the more you love her."

With the camera panning over to show Sarah, Dan went on, “And I've known her and loved her for over half my life. There she is, she's absolutely amazing, she's such a special person and I love her to bits.”

Sarah was no doubt very proud to watch Dan and Nadiya’s beautiful performance!