Nigel Harman QUITS Strictly Come Dancing just hours before live show after ‘sustaining an injury’

Photo of author

By Robert Fofana

Nigel Harman has quit Strictly Come Dancing just hours before Saturday night’s live show after sustaining an injury.

The Casualty actor, 50, was gearing up to perform a Charleston to Step in Time from Mary Poppins with his professional partner Katya Jones for the quarter finals.

However, he has had to pull out of the BBC dance contest at the last minute on medical grounds after sustaining an injury, which is said to have left him ‘really disappointed’.

The BBC confirmed to MailOnline: ‘Unfortunately Nigel has sustained an injury which means he is unable to perform in tonight’s show and has had to withdraw from Strictly.’

‘We wish Nigel a speedy recovery and they both will be very much missed by our entire Strictly family,’ the official Strictly Instagram account added in a post confirming his departure. 

Nigel Harman QUITS Strictly Come Dancing just hours before live show after ‘sustaining an injury’

Nigel Harman (pictured after training on Monday) has quit Strictly Come Dancing just hours before Saturday night’s live show after sustaining an injury

The actor, 50, was set to perform a Charleston to Step in Time from Mary Poppins with his professional partner Katya Jones (both pictured on the show last week) for the quarter finals

The actor, 50, was set to perform a Charleston to Step in Time from Mary Poppins with his professional partner Katya Jones (both pictured on the show last week) for the quarter finals 

However, he has had to pull out of the dance contest on medical grounds after sustaining an injury, the BBC confirmed

However, he has had to pull out of the dance contest on medical grounds after sustaining an injury, the BBC confirmed

Just one day before his exit, Nigel had discussed how gruelling the fast-paced Charleston had been on his body and admitted he was very worn out, while pictures from Friday also showed him rehearsing in the studio for the challenging routine.

Step In Time in Mary Poppins famously saw Dick Van Dyke and a group of chimney sweepers performing a very elaborate group dance number to the extremely fast-paced lyrical song on a roof, while Julie Andrew’s titular character watched on.

Nigel – who is married to Lucy Liemann – reportedly missed training on Saturday morning, while Katya was seen in attendance, after working ‘really hard’ in rehearsals to try and secure a place in the final.

A source told The Sun: ‘Nigel wasn’t in training this morning, and other dancers were informed later on in the day. He and Katya were really disappointed as they were hoping to stay in the competition.

‘They hadn’t been in the bottom two so had a real chance of making it to the finals. Nigel has been training really hard and really through himself into rehearsals.’

Nigel has not yet expanded on his departure from the show, but simply shared the official Strictly statement to his own Instagram Stories.

He is not the only star who has quit the 2023 Strictly series after Amanda Abbington – who was paired up with Giovanni Pernice – quit in October due to medical reasons.

Nigel’s exit leaves just Ellie Leach, Bobby Brazier, Layton Williams and Annabel Croft still left in the contest battling it out in a bid to lift the iconic glitterball trophy. 

After the BBC announced the news on social media, fans were quick to take to the comments section to share their dismay at the popular star’s exit.

Katya was seen on the phone as she attended rehearsals on Saturday morning, just hours before Nigel's exit was announced. Nigel was reportedly not at Saturday's rehearsal session

Katya was seen on the phone as she attended rehearsals on Saturday morning, just hours before Nigel’s exit was announced. Nigel was reportedly not at Saturday’s rehearsal session

Before his exit, Nigel had discussed how gruelling the fast-paced Charleston had been, while pictures from Friday also showed him rehearsing in the studio for the fast-paced routine

Before his exit, Nigel had discussed how gruelling the fast-paced Charleston had been, while pictures from Friday also showed him rehearsing in the studio for the fast-paced routine

For musicals week, Nigel and Katya were dancing to Step In Time from Mary Poppins, a very fast-paced group number performed by the chimney sweepers in the 1964 film, starring Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews

For musicals week, Nigel and Katya were dancing to Step In Time from Mary Poppins, a very fast-paced group number performed by the chimney sweepers in the 1964 film, starring Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews

Nigel reportedly missed training on Saturday morning amid his exit, after working 'really hard' in rehearsals to try and secure a place in the final (he is seen rehearsing with Katya last week)

Nigel reportedly missed training on Saturday morning amid his exit, after working ‘really hard’ in rehearsals to try and secure a place in the final (he is seen rehearsing with Katya last week)

After the BBC announced the news on social media, fans were quick to take to the comments section to share their dismay at the popular star's exit

After the BBC announced the news on social media, fans were quick to take to the comments section to share their dismay at the popular star’s exit

Other fans called for Strictly to bring back Angela Scanlon and her dance partner Carlos Gu because of Nigel's unexpected exit

Other fans called for Strictly to bring back Angela Scanlon and her dance partner Carlos Gu because of Nigel’s unexpected exit

Others also questioned whether there will still be a public vote after Nigel’s exit or if the date of the final, set for December 16, will change. MailOnline understands that the logistic details of any changes will be shared in Saturday night’s episode. 

One fan wrote: ‘Absolutely gutted for him. He was heading to the final for sure. Speedy recovery Nigel.’

Another said: ‘I’m so upset for him I liked him,’ a third commented: ‘OMG I’m so gutted he was my favourite dancer.’

A fourth penned: ‘That’s such a shame I’m gutted for Katya too as he’s been her best contestant ages,’ and a fifth said: ‘That’s very sad after all his hard work.’ 

While another questioned: ‘Surely they need to stop an elimination next week then. 2 in a final doesn’t work.’

One added: ‘Please cancel tonight’s elimination, having a two person final is horrendously boring and anti-climactic.’ 

Many fans also called for Strictly producers to bring back Angela Scanlon and her dance partner Carlos Gu because of Nigel’s unexpected exit.

During last Sunday’s dance off, Angela narrowly missed out on a place in the quarters after failing to win over the judges with her cha-cha-cha to Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, with Layton Williams and pro Nikita Kuzmin being saved.

Calling for her to be brought back, one fan said: ‘Can you bring back @angelascanlon PLEASE,’ and a second agreed, penning: ‘Bring back @angelascanlon.’

Another wrote: ‘Poor poor Nigel. He was so fabulous! But I saw someone say bring back Angela Scanlon! Great idea!’

Nigel’s exit will no doubt be a blow to Russian dancer Katya as well as it was the furthest that the professional had gone in the contest since her victory six years ago.

On Saturday morning, hours before Nigel's exit, Katya had taken to her Instagram Stories to share a promotional snap for musicals week alongside the excited caption: 'Here we gooooo'

On Saturday morning, hours before Nigel’s exit, Katya had taken to her Instagram Stories to share a promotional snap for musicals week alongside the excited caption: ‘Here we gooooo’

Katya sported bright pink leggings and a black T-shirt as she attended Strictly rehearsals on Saturday before Nigel's exit was announced

Katya sported bright pink leggings and a black T-shirt as she attended Strictly rehearsals on Saturday before Nigel’s exit was announced

The Russian dancer was seen chatting on the phone as she stepped outside for a moment during training, which Nigel was believed not to be in attendance at

The Russian dancer was seen chatting on the phone as she stepped outside for a moment during training, which Nigel was believed not to be in attendance at 

On Friday, Katya had joked about how she had been training Nigel to 'dirty' up his dances during a joint appearance on Steph's Packed Lunch

On Friday, Katya had joked about how she had been training Nigel to ‘dirty’ up his dances during a joint appearance on Steph’s Packed Lunch

On It Takes Two on Friday, Nigel discussed how gruelling the routine had been on his body after the slow-paced Rumba the week before

On It Takes Two on Friday, Nigel discussed how gruelling the routine had been on his body after the slow-paced Rumba the week before

Katya also had to withdraw from the dance contest last year when her partner Tony Adams sustained an injury, making them the seventh couple to leave the 2022 show. 

On Saturday morning, mere hours before Nigel’s exit, Katya had taken to her Instagram Stories to share a promotional snap for musicals week alongside the excited caption: ‘Here we gooooo!!’

Nigel had also shared his excitement about dancing in musicals week and the quarter final the night before his exit as he appeared on It Takes Two on Friday.

He gushed: ‘It’s brilliant for [Katya], for us. It’s musicals week as well. It’s a great week. I love it. We just feel really grateful to be here.’

Speaking to host Fleur East, Nigel also discussed how gruelling the routine had been on his body after the slow-paced Rumba the week before.

He said: ‘Well I’m not going to lie. The Rumba just sort of mincing around wafting my hips was lovely, maybe one bead of sweat.

‘This week St John’s Ambulance are on standby. This is completely the other end of the scale.’

During an appearance on Steph’s Packed Lunch, Nigel also said he would be ‘impressed’ if he was still standing after the difficult routine. 

‘Every time we finish this routine, I’m literally on an oxygen mask for about five minutes. If I’m still standing by the end of Saturday night, I’ll be impressed,’ he said. 

On the chat show, Katya had also joked about how she had been training Nigel to ‘dirty’ up his dances, while host Steph praised his exceptional dance moves.

She said: ‘He has that poise and elegance about his moves. He always makes, even the rumba, which can be quite awkward for male celebrities; it looks so effortless and natural, so you either have it or you either have it or you don’t, and he definitely has it.

‘But we have been trying to deconstruct him for this week and I am like ”NO”.’ 

Nigel chipped in and said: ‘Basically I have been told I am not dirty enough. I’m not dirty enough for this dance so I am trying to dirty it up.’

Katya was said to have been focusing on trying to get to the Strictly final this year after splitting from property mogul and ex-football player William Abbotts, who she had been dating.

Nigel also shared his excitement about dancing in musicals week and the quarter finals just hours before his exit

Nigel also shared his excitement about dancing in musicals week and the quarter finals just hours before his exit 

Katya also had to withdraw from the dance contest last year when her partner Tony Adams sustained an injury, making them the seventh couple to leave the show

Katya also had to withdraw from the dance contest last year when her partner Tony Adams sustained an injury, making them the seventh couple to leave the show

Katya last won Strictly in 2017 alongside Scottish actor Joe McFadden

Katya last won Strictly in 2017 alongside Scottish actor Joe McFadden 

Nigel is not the only star who has quit the 2023 Strictly series after Amanda Abbington - who was paired up with Giovanni Pernice - quit in October due to medical reasons

Nigel is not the only star who has quit the 2023 Strictly series after Amanda Abbington – who was paired up with Giovanni Pernice – quit in October due to medical reasons

A source told The Sun at the time of her dedication to reach the final: ‘The union ran its course. Katya is single and focusing on the dance competition.

‘She knows she has a strong chance of making it to the final this year. She doesn’t want any distractions.’

Katya, who joined the show as a professional back in 2016 and was first partnered with Ed Balls, won Strictly in 2017 alongside Scottish actor Joe McFadden.

Last week, Nigel and Katya had performed a ballroom Rumba to It’s All Coming Back To Me Now by Celine Dion.

They had secured just 33 points out of 40, placing them second to last on the leaderboard, but they were saved in the public vote as they avoided the dance off.

The couple had gone from strength-to-strength on the show and had avoided the dance off while also winning over viewers. 

However, they have received critical remarks from the judges over the weeks and Nigel ‘stormed off’ at Blackpool after a disappointing score.

The former EastEnders actor and Katya had danced to Duke Ellington’s It Don’t Mean A Thing, which left them second from bottom of the judges’ leaderboard, with a score of 31 points out of 40.

In a video shared to social media, Nigel is seen swiftly exiting the dance floor, just seconds after the BBC cameras stopped shooting. 

Despite avoiding the dance off, Nigel and Katya have received critical remarks from the judges over the weeks and Nigel 'stormed off' at Blackpool after a disappointing score

Despite avoiding the dance off, Nigel and Katya have received critical remarks from the judges over the weeks and Nigel ‘stormed off’ at Blackpool after a disappointing score 

Nigel had previously gushed over his time on Strictly and spoke about the joyful hours he and Katya spent 'laughing' together during rehearsals

Nigel had previously gushed over his time on Strictly and spoke about the joyful hours he and Katya spent ‘laughing’ together during rehearsals 

Katya appeared confused and briefly stood still before following, while other contestants happily danced and hugged.

The audience member who shared the video to Twitter wrote: ‘Are #Strictly judges proud of themselves? Nigel’s been broken tonight, couldn’t even face the keep dancing once theme & cameras stopped. 

‘Taken away someone’s love of dance & confidence should not be what show is about.’ 

Nigel had previously gushed over his time on Strictly and spoke about the joyful hours he and Katya spent ‘laughing’ together during rehearsals.

Speaking about their bond, Nigel said: ‘I love working with Kats, she is so intuitive as a teacher, choreographer and person, we spend hours together and it’s joyful, we laugh a lot, and we get a lot of things done.

‘She’s making me into a better dancer, I don’t know how she’s doing it but she is.

‘Do I find her strict? I don’t think I do, no. Sometimes I need a bit of discipline because if you’re not careful I’ll start rambling about anything just to distract her, so I don’t have to dance.’

Before Strictly, Nigel was known for his role as Dennis Rickman in EastEnders, which he played from 2003 to 2005. 

More recently he has starred in Casualty and has also appeared in Downton Abbey and Hotel Babylon, alongside extensive theatre work.

Before Strictly, Nigel was known for his role as Dennis Rickman in EastEnders, which he played from 2003 to 2005

Before Strictly, Nigel was known for his role as Dennis Rickman in EastEnders, which he played from 2003 to 2005 

More recently he has starred in Casualty (pictured) and has also appeared in Downton Abbey and Hotel Babylon, alongside extensive theatre work

More recently he has starred in Casualty (pictured) and has also appeared in Downton Abbey and Hotel Babylon, alongside extensive theatre work

Among many stage credits Nigel has performed in Guys and Dolls in London’s West End and Shrek the Musical, which he then went on to direct for the UK tour. His film work includes roles in Blood Diamond, Telstar, and The Outsiders for ITV.

Upon joining Strictly, Nigel had said: ‘I’m amazed, excited, and terrified to be doing Strictly. 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!’ 

Before the show, Nigel had been taking advice from his Casualty co-star Charles Venn, who starred on Strictly in 2018.

‘Charles took me aside and went serious and said you’ve got to do cardio, cardio at the gym, cardio cardio. He’s really fit so I’m like oh god. And he said just be yourself,’ Nigel shared.

STRICTLY COME DANCING 2023: THE CONTESTANTS’ PROFILES

Layton Williams

Age: 28

Profession: Actor

Layton says: ‘Absolutely buzzing to confirm that I will be taking part in THE most iconic dance competition in the UK! It’s time to bring it to the Ballroom. So excited to learn new skills from the best. Bring on the sequins… ALL the sequins!’

Age: 22

Profession:  Coronation Street star

Ellie says: ‘It still doesn’t feel real that I’m going to be doing Strictly!! It’s always been a dream of mine so I guess dreams really do come true!!!!’

Age: 20

Profession:  EastEnders star and model 

Bobby says: ‘I’m so excited to be part of the Strictly line up, I can’t wait to start training like a professional dancer and adding a few moves to my locker. I’m looking forward to performing in-front of everyone.’

Age: 57 

Profession:  Broadcaster and ex tennis player

Annabel says: ‘I have always loved watching Strictly and can’t quite believe I’m going to be part of this magical show – swapping tennis balls for glitter balls and looking forward to finding some joyfulness in the process.’

Leave a Comment