Natalie Lowe has quit Strictly after 7 years

Louise McCreesh
Photo credit: Guy Levy / BBC

From Digital Spy

Natalie Lowe has quit Strictly Come Dancing after seven years on the show.

The professional dancer, who partnered with Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford on the most recent series of the BBC One contest, has announced she intends to bow out of the series with "a very heavy heart."

"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.

"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."

Photo credit: Guy Levy / BBC

The news comes after she placed seventh in this year's competition with partner Greg Rutherford, amid the pair's feud with judge Craig Revel Horwood.

Following the couple's Rumba, Craig Revel Horwood's criticism of the routine made Natalie burst into tears.

Could that be why she's leaving?

Natalie joined Strictly in 2009, when she was partnered with Ricky Whittle, now the huge star of American Gods.

Whittle turned out to be her most successful partner in the competition, with the couple finishing second behind BBC sports presenter Chris Hollins and his partner Ola Jordan.

She has also danced with Audley Harrison, Tim Winnacott and Ainsley Harriott previously.

Strictly Come Dancing airs on BBC One.

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