Aliona Vilani has spoken out about her shock at being axed from Strictly Come Dancing.
The professional dancer, who won the show with Harry Judd in 2011, told the Daily Mirror she had fully expected to be working on this year’s Strictly, which is due to start in the autumn.
She said: “It was not my decision to leave, I have only just been told by bosses that I was not coming back – they didn’t give me a reason and I was too upset to ask why. I was just told that I was out and that was that.
“It was very difficult to hear, I had planned to be on the show this year so I will have to make new plans. Right now I am very upset and in a state of shock.”
Aliona, who had to take time off during 2012’s Strictly shows for injury, wrote on Twitter that she had gone back to her native Kazakhstan after the shock news.
She tweeted fans: “To those of you who are asking ‘why?’ I’m leaving Strictly and asking me to stay and come back, I’ll just repeat – it’s not up to me guys!”
The BBC had announced that dancers Aliona, Erin Boag, Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone would be leaving the show ‘to focus on their career outside Strictly and for professional reasons’.