A Strictly Come Dancing professional has been left “seething” after being omitted from the new series.
The forthcoming edition of the BBC competition is just one week away from starting with a launch episode that has already been recorded.
According to reports, one of the show’s professionals, Nadiya Bychkova, was not partnered with a celebrity contestant, meaning she will not be able to compete.
The Mirror reports that Ukrainian dancer Bychkova was left “fuming” by the revelation. Since 2017, when she joined the show, Bychkova has bee paired with Holby City actor Davood Ghadami, Blue singer Lee Ryan, former England footballer David James and Bros star Matt Goss.
However, it was with broadcaster Dan Walker that she had her highest placement, defeating the negative comments from judges to finish in fifth place.
A source told the outlet: “Nadiya lives and breathes Strictly, and so to hear that she wouldn’t have a celebrity partner this year was crushing for her. She was both gutted, and very, very angry.
Bychkova has been dating fellow Strictly professional Kai Widdrington since January 2022. The source added: “She has come to terms with it over the past few weeks, and will do her best to support Kai during the series. But it was devastating news for her.”
The Independent has contacted the BBC for comment.
Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will return to host the 21st series of Strictly, which will feature stars including veteran broadcaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy, reality star Zara McDermott and controversial Sherlock actor Amanda Abbington.
Last month, former contestant John Whaite, who appeared on the series in 2021, revealed that he almost fell victim to “the Strictly curse” after “falling in love” with professional partner Johannes Radebe.
Whaite, who performed with Radebe as as part of the show’s first ever male same-sex pairing, said that he had such camaraderis with the dancer that he “spent time apart” from his fiancé after the series ended.
Strictly Come Dancing returns Saturday 16 September at 6.35pm on BBC One.
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