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Dancing On Ice star Alex Murphy has said she is feeling “lost and devastated” after being axed from the show.
The 31-year-old professional skater - who joined the ITV show when it returned in 2018 - has been dropped from the series just months after winning Dancing On Ice 2020 with TV presenter and actor Joe Swash.
Murphy made the announcement on her Instagram account saying: "It is with a heavy heart that I release the following statement. For the last three years, Dancing On Ice has not only been my job, but also what I considered to be my family.
"I am broken hearted to announced that I have recently been informed that I will not be re-contracted for Dancing On Ice 2021 series.
"This decision has come as a huge shock to me. I absolutely love the show and had hoped to go back for 2021. I have been left feeling bewildered, lost, and devastated.”
She went on: "I am so grateful for the three years that I had on this incredible show and I will wholeheartedly miss everyone and everything about it.
"Though I am heartbroken, I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and although this hurts right now, I will pick myself up and look forward towards the future.
"Thank you so much to all my colleagues at DOI and most importantly the viewers for the constant support and love that you have shown me the last 3 years.
"It was an incredible part of my life and though it is ending sooner than I would have liked, I am so grateful for the memories."
Dancing On Ice judge Ashley Banjo commented: "Can’t believe that..."
Former winner James Jordan replied: "Wow! Shocked, hope you are ok."
The American skater was partnered with Love Island star Kem Cetinay in 2018 and with Westlife’s Brian McFadden in 2019, finishing in fourth place on both occasions.
At the start of the latest series she was paired with former gameshow host Michael Barrymore, but he withdrew from the show after breaking his hand during training.
Murphy then replaced pro skater Alexandra Schauman as Swash’s partner in week four of the competition after Schauman was also injured.
Murphy and Swash went on to be crowned the winners of Dancing On Ice 2020.