Strictly Come Dancing's 5 biggest stories this week: Why Darcey Bussell really left

Strictly judges
Darcey Bussell revealed why she quit Strictly. (BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing reaches the quarter finals this weekend - but don't get caught out by the schedule change and miss the live show, which has moved to Friday.

Elsewhere, former judge Darcey Bussell has revealed the real reason she left the show, and there's an exciting new celebrity cast to look forward to for the Christmas special.

Strictly Come Dancing's 5 biggest stories this week

Why Darcey Bussell really left Strictly

Darcey Bussell
Darcey Bussell left Strictly in 2018. (BBC)

She was a popular judge on the Strictly panel for seven series, but it seems Darcey Bussell's decision to leave in 2018 was not entirely without controversy.

Bussell, 53, told the Royal Academy of Dance podcast: "It was really hard because the producers on the show didn’t want me to be the ballet dancer and I was like, 'Well, sadly I am, and I think you chose me because I am the ballet dancer.'

Read more: Who's the favourite to win Strictly 2022?

"They were convinced that the public were going to take that on board. But the public did take it on board and [nevertheless] were happy to have me as a judge.

"I was always going to play myself, however much I was convinced that to look like and be like the ballet dancer wasn’t the right thing.

"I was, like, 'Well, sorry, you’re taking me as it is. This is how I look and this is how I’ll act'."

Strictly...on a Friday?

Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystal are favourites with viewers. (BBC)
Catch Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystal on Friday this week. (BBC)

There isn't much in the world of TV that manages to disrupt the Strictly schedule - the only recent example was moving the launch show by a week to accommodate a period of national mourning for the Queen's death.

However, the World Cup has arrived out of season which means this week, Strictly's live show has been bumped to Friday and its results show to Saturday to make way for fixtures.

Don't get caught out by the date change - the live show is tonight (Friday) at 8pm on BBC One and the results show is Saturday at 5.40pm.

Kym Marsh has FOMO

Kym Marsh
Kym Marsh was sad to miss out last week. (BBC)

Poor Kym Marsh has been recovering from COVID and had to miss last weekend's show, but is raring to go for the next leg of the competition.

She appeared on It Takes Two to explain how strange it had been watching the show from home.

"It was so weird, I had such FOMO, I really did," she told host Janette Manrara.

"I swapped sequins for tissues. I watched it with two tissues stuck up my nostrils."

Helen Skelton's emotional week on Strictly

Helen Skelton and Gorka Marquez have made it to the quarter finals. (BBC)
Helen Skelton and Gorka Marquez have made it to the quarter finals. (BBC)

It's been a tough year for Helen Skelton, whose husband Richie Myler left her in April when their third child was just four months old.

Since then, the Countryfile presenter has thrown herself into Strictly and has put in some hugely impressive performances.

Read more: All the Strictly winners and finalists

In Saturday's episode, she broke down in tears in her training video as she told dance partner Gorka Marquez about her dad's reaction to seeing her perform at Blackpool.

Skelton said: "He just looked at me and said 'you seem like you again' and I'm certainly a different person than when we started.

"I think even you would say I'm a different person from day one, right?"

Strictly Christmas special reveals cast

Nicola Roberts is signed up for Strictly this Christmas. (BBC)
Nicola Roberts is signed up for Strictly this Christmas. (BBC)

Strictly 2022 might be drawing to a close, but that doesn't mean the end of visits to the ballroom.

There will be one last contest this year, as Strictly airs its annual festive special on Christmas Day and this week the six contestants have been announced.

Look out for stars including Larry Lamb, Nicola Roberts, and Rosie Ramsey - whose husband Chris has already done the main series - bringing some Strictly sparkle to your Christmas day.

Strictly Come Dancing continues tonight at 8pm on BBC One.

Watch: Who is Strictly's Helen Skelton?