Why comedian Robert Webb has withdrawn from Strictly Come Dancing

C) BBC - Photographer: Guy LevyC) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

Robert Webb has withdrawn from Strictly Come Dancing 2021, citing medical reasons for his decision to leave.

Webb and his dance partner Dianne Buswell will take no further part in the dancing competition. The BBC One show will continue as normal.

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The comedian, who had open heart surgery two years ago, went to an urgent consultation with his heart specialist after feeling symptoms during his time on the show.

Here’s all you need to know and who Robert Webb is and why he’s left Strictly.

Why has Robert Webb withdrawn from Strictly?

The comedian has withdrawn from Strictly Come Dancing due to ill health, the BBC has said.

The former Peep Show star had open heart surgery two years ago, and used that event as inspiration to take part in the show.

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In a statement, Webb said: “I’m extremely sorry to have to announce that I’m withdrawing from Strictly Come Dancing … 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.”


Webb added that he was proud of the three dances he performed with Dianne Buswell, saying he “couldn’t have wished for a more talented partner or more patient teacher”.

Finally, he thanked the viewers who voted for him on the show: “It was always going to be a difficult mountain to climb (for one thing it’s made of glitter so it’s very skiddy) and I’ve been especially touched by the support from fellow heart patients.”

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“It has been a genuine honour to be part of this huge, joyful and barking mad TV show,”

Buswell said: “I know Robert had a lot more to give to the competition but his health of course comes first and I wish him a speedy recovery. I feel lucky to have danced with him and to call him a friend.”

Strictly’s executive producer Sarah James thanked the pair for the "commitment, creativity and joy they brought to the show".

She said they were "so sad" but completely understood and supported his decision, adding that everyone on Strictly sent "love and best wishes for his continued recovery".

Who is Robert Webb?

Robert Webb is a comedy actor and best selling author.

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The 48-year-old is best known for his performance in Peep Show, Back, and That Mitchell and Webb Look alongside his comedy partner David Mitchell.

The pair met at Cambridge University and went on to win a BAFTA in 2007 for their work on their sketch show.

Webb released his memoir, How Not To Be A Boy, in 2015. The book was a No.1 Sunday Time Best Seller. He also released his debut novel, Come Again in 2020.

How well did Robert Webb do on Strictly?

Robert Webb made it to week four of Strictly Come Dancing 2021, before having to withdraw on medical grounds.

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In Week One he danced the Cha Cha and scored 20 (6 + 4 + 4 + 6) from the judges.

In Week Two he danced the Tango and scored 27 (7 + 7 + 6 + 7) from the judges.

In Week Three he danced the Quickstep and score 25 (6 + 6 + 7 + 6) from the judges.

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