Strictly Come Dancing professional Natalie Lowe has announced her decision to leave the show after seven years. The 36-year-old confirmed her departure on Thursday, saying it was with a "heavy heart" that she was saying goodbye to her Strictly colleagues. "This was a very difficult decision for me not to accept the invitation to appear on this season of Strictly Come Dancing," Natalie told PA. "It is with a very heavy heart that I have arrived at this decision."
She continued: "I'll be forever grateful for the amazing time, opportunities and memories that Strictly has created for me. My time on the programme has been everything that I dreamed it would be, and more. From the friendships I developed, the amazing dances I was able to perform in, and the experiences that Strictly provided, it has been an incredible and extraordinary adventure."
Natalie Lowe has quit Strictly Come Dancing after seven years
Natalie joined Strictly in 2009, when she was partnered with Hollyoaks star Ricky Whittle. The couple came second after being beaten by BBC sports presenter Chris Hollins and his partner Ola Jordan in the final. In the following years, she danced with famous faces including Audley Harrison, Tim Winnacott, Ainsley Harriott, and last year partnered Greg Rutherford, eventually coming in seventh place.