Robert Webb not returning for 'Strictly Come Dancing' final's group dance

Robert Webb dropped out of the BBC dance contest in week three. (BBC)
Robert Webb dropped out of the BBC dance contest in week three. (BBC)

Robert Webb has confirmed he will not be taking part in the Strictly Come Dancing final, explaining that the show had not been good for his physical or mental health.

The 49-year-old actor — who underwent emergency open heart surgery in 2020 — withdrew from the competition for health reasons in week three. He has now said he will not join his fellow celebrity contestants in returning for a group dance in the final this weekend.

Webb said in a statement on Instagram: "I seem to have switched from public to private mode and one of the effects of this is people will inevitably find their own ways to interpret my ‘silence’. It isn’t really silence, of course. It’s just doing other stuff.

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing 2021's best moments of the series

"But I thought I ought to pipe up because I won’t be in the group dance of the strictly final this Sat and I didn’t want my absence (or my ‘silence’ about it) to be taken as evidence of any kind of bad feeling towards the show. My love for Strictly is a season that is forever summer. However, the producers understood that when I had to stop, I had to stop completely."

He went on: "If I gave out a few more details about what the show had been doing to me physically & mentally, you wouldn’t be surprised that the offer of one more dance was politely declined."

The Peep Show star revealed he had met with his professional partner Dianne Buswell and her social media influencer boyfriend Joe Sugg and she understood his decision.

He said: "Dianne & Joe came over for lunch a few weeks ago and m’partner gets it."

Robert Webb with professional dance partner Diance Buswell. (BBC)
Robert Webb with professional dance partner Diance Buswell. (BBC)

Webb also apologised for withdrawing early from the competition, but pointed out that he could not be held to blame for CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson not making it to the final.

The comedian added: "More generally, I’m sorry that my departure b****red up the format so there are only 3 couples in the final (a lot of angry Rhys fans out there - guys, you do know that if I’d tried to do week 4 but had then dropped dead during the show, it would *still* be a three-couple final, yeah?) So anyway, the headlines are: sorry about everything, I’m not doing the thing, I’m fine now btw, and do enjoy the final which will obviously be brilliant because they’re all brilliant."

Webb underwent surgery almost two years ago after a routine medical check revealed he had a heart murmur caused by a mitral valve prolapse.

Robert Webb withdrew after dancing as Kermit The Frog in Musicals Week. (BBC)
Robert Webb withdrew after dancing as Kermit The Frog in Musicals Week. (BBC)

He has since revealed that he had given up drinking alcohol as a result, saying "I just assumed, that’s the booze. I thought this is what you feel like when you’re 47 and you treat your body like a skip."

Read more: Eight other celebs who had to quit Strictly Come Dancing

Announcing his withdrawal from Strictly he said: "I had begun to feel symptoms that led me to seek an urgent consultation with my heart specialist, and it was her view that it would be better for the sake of my health to step back from the show."

Webb is married with two daughters.

The Strictly Come Dancing 2021 final will air on BBC One at 7pm on Saturday, 18 December.

Watch: Who is Strictly's Robert Webb?