Strictly's Will Bayley may be forced to quit due to injury

Albertina Lloyd
·Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Will Bayley attending the Strictly Come Dancing Launch at the TV Centre, London
Will Bayley may be forced to quit Strictly due to injury (Credit: PA)

Paralympian Will Bayley may be forced to pull out of Strictly Come Dancing on doctor’s orders.

The gold-medal winning table tennis player injured his knee during rehearsals with professional dance partner Janette Manrara last week and was given a free pass to week 7 as he was unable to compete in the Halloween live show.

But according to The Sun Bayley - who was born with arthrogryposis and was diagnosed with cancer aged seven - is due to meet with a specialist today, and his chances of being deemed fit enough to perform on Saturday are “less than slim”.

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Bayley wrote on his Instagram account yesterday: “Smile through it all!”

A spokesperson for Strictly Come Dancing declined to comment.

The 31-year-old is believed to have torn a knee ligament in his right leg after landing awkwardly from a jump while rehearsing the jive last Friday and was rushed to hospital.

Will Bayley wowed with his contemporary dance (Credit: BBC)
Will Bayley wowed with his contemporary dance (Credit: BBC)

He said: “I thought I broke my leg because I’ve never felt anything like it before.”

Bayley’s condition arthrogryposis causes curvature of the limbs and arthritis in the joints. He and Manrara are due to perform a waltz to Barry Manilow’s Weekend In New England on this week’s show.

Their last performance, on October 19th, was the Couple’s Choice and they choreographed a contemporary dance to Lukas Graham’s 7 Years, inspired by Bayley’s childhood cancer battle. The judges were moved to tears and they awarded the couple 32 points out of a possible 40.

Meanwhile, professional dancers Katya Jones and Neil Jones are also suffering from injuries that have prevented them from training.

Kevin Clifton has had to stand in for Alex Scott's partner Neil Jones (Credit: BBC)
Kevin Clifton has had to stand in for Alex Scott's partner Neil Jones (Credit: BBC)

Katya has injured her neck and so she and BBC Breakfast presenter Mike Bushell - who have been in the dance off for the last two weeks - have reportedly been unable to practice their charleston together.

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Neil was unable to perform on Saturday’s live show due to injury and so last year’s winning professional Kevin Clifton stepped in at the eleventh hour to perform the footballer Alex Scott’s Couple’s Choice street dance with her. He is now said to be helping her train for the American smooth ahead of this week’s show, as Neil is still injured.