Pasha Kovalev leaves 'Strictly Come Dancing' after eight years

The Russian dancer said it’s time to find a new challenge.
The Russian dancer said it’s time to find a new challenge.

Strictly Come Dancing professional Pasha Kovalev has announced that he’s leaving the show after eight years.

The Russian dancer made the announcement on his Twitter account today, stating it’s time for him to “find a new challenge”.

He wrote in the statement to his followers: “After scoring 93 perfect tens, reaching 4 finals and lifting 1 glitter ball, it’s time for me to find a new challenge and so I’ve decided to make last year – my final season Strictly.

“I’ve had 8 fantastic years, full of wonderful memories, thanks to the incredible partners, professionals and myriad of behind the scenes teams who all work to make Strictly the amazing production that it is.

“The biggest thanks go to all the members of the public who’ve supported me so much over these years – I look forward to seeing you on the Strictly Pro-Tour this spring, and for many future adventures to come!”

Strictly Come Dancing also shared a statement on their official Twitter account, thanking him for his contributions over the years and wishing him the best for the future.

They said: “Sadly after eight incredible series, the brilliant @PashaKovalev has decided to leave #Strictly. Pasha, from all of us, thank you for your amazing choreography and routines over the years. You’ll be sorely missed!”

Kovalev joined Strictly in 2011 and in his first series he finished runner-up with celebrity partner Chelsee Healey.

In 2013, he was paired up with Countdown‘s Rachel Riley. The two of them formed a romantic relationship and have been together since.

He once again finished as runner-up with Girls Aloud’s Kimberly Walsh in the tenth series before finally lifting the glitter ball trophy with Love Island presenter Caroline Flack in 2014.

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