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AJ Odudu quits Strictly one day before final due to injury

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AJ Odudu has been forced to pull out of the Strictly Come Dancing final.

The news comes days after it was revealed the contestant couldn’t walk without crutches due to an injury sustained during training.

“I’m deeply upset that I am unable to perform in the final due to a torn ligament in my right ankle,” TV presenter Odudu said in a statement.

“Learning to dance over the last 13 weeks has been an incredible honour and to do it alongside someone as special, patient and devoted as Kai is something I’ll treasure forever,” she added, referencing her professional partner, Kai Widdrington.

“Thank you to the Strictly family for the experience, the medical team for trying to get me back on my feet and mostly, to everyone at home for watching and supporting. You’ve made this experience one to remember.

Odudu called participating in the series as “a lifelong dream,” adding: “I’m glad it came true.”

Widdrington said: “I’ve been absolutely honoured to get to dance with the incredible AJ Odudu for the last few months and although neither of us wanted our journey to end this way, AJ’s health and safety are by far the most important things.

“I want to thank AJ for being the absolute best partner I could ever have asked for in my first year on the show and I will always treasure the memories of dancing in the Strictly ballroom with her. I know we will be friends for life and I will be there for her through her recovery in whatever way I can.”

The TV presenter paid tribute to her professional partner, Kai Widdrington (BBC iPlayer)
The TV presenter paid tribute to her professional partner, Kai Widdrington (BBC iPlayer)

EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis and former Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite will now compete for the Glitterball trophy.

Odudu wished the pair good luck, and said she would be cheering them on.

Strictly concludes on Saturday (18 December) at 7pm on BBC One.

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