Strictly Come Dancing professional Natalie Lowe makes ‘difficult decision’ to quit show

Aimée Grant Cumberbatch
Sad news: Strictly professional Natalie leaves show: PA

Strictly Come Dancing professional Natalie Lowe has announced that she won’t be returning for this year’s series of the popular BBC show.

Announcing the news on Thursday, Lowe thanked the team but said she “wouldn’t be accepting their invitation” to take part in the 2017 series.

“This was a very difficult decision for me not to accept the invitation to appear on this season of Strictly Come Dancing”, she said in a statement.

“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.”

Last year, the dancer was partnered with athlete Greg Rutherford. Together they reached the show’s Blackpool special before becoming the 9th couple to be voted off.

In previous years Lowe danced with Michael Vaughn, Ainsley Harriott and Ricky Whittle with whom she came second.

Before joining Strictly in 2009, Lowe was a professional on the Australian version of the show and won the series in 2006 with AFL footballer Anthony Koutoufides.

But this isn’t the last we’ll hear of Natalie as she has a new showbiz project in the pipeline as well as plans to devote more time to her dance-focused fitness class FitSteps.