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Strictly stars and celebrities share messages of support for Nigel Harman

Strictly stars and celebrities have shared how “devastated” they are that Casualty star Nigel Harman has had to withdraw from the BBC show after sustaining an injury.

The actor, 50, and his professional partner Katya Jones had to depart the dancing series hours before the quarter-finals due to a rib injury sustained by Harman, the BBC said.

He and Jones would have performed a Charleston to Step In Time from Disney’s Mary Poppins in musicals week on Saturday night.

Former British number one tennis player Annabel Croft, who is still in the series and will dance a foxtrot with Johannes Radebe for the themed week, commented on the official Strictly Instagram announcement post saying: “Devastated for you Nigel! I am wishing you a speedy recovery. You are an effortless and talented dancer xxx”.

With Harman now ruled out of the show, Croft will compete for Glitterball glory alongside actress Ellie Leach, theatre and TV star Layton Williams and EastEnders star Bobby Brazier.

Williams, who is partnered with professional Nikita Kuzmin, also sent a message of support, writing: “Sending so much love to them both!”

Irish star Angela Scanlon, who last week became the ninth celebrity to be eliminated from the show, said: “So sorry to hear this @themeditatingactor & @katyajones you two are glorious xx”

Strictly professional Kai Widdrington, who was eliminated with his partner broadcaster Angela Rippon in Blackpool week, added: “Sending love to you both”.

TV presenter AJ Odudu, who had to withdraw from the finale of the 2021 series of Strictly due to injury, commented with a sad face emoji.

Strictly professional Nadiya Bychkova shared a crying and prayer hands emojis while presenter Denise Van Outen, who took part in Strictly in 2010, wrote: “Oh no!”

British snowboarder and Olympian Aimee Fuller said: “Gutted not to see you shine.”

Harman had previously said he was particularly looking forward to this week because of his love of musicals, which was influenced by his parents’ appreciation of them.

He is the second celebrity to quit the show early after actress Amanda Abbington departed for “personal reasons”.

In October, the Sherlock star missed a live Saturday show due to “medical reasons” and it was announced a couple of days later that she had pulled out of the competition.