Strictly quartet to leave show

Four of Strictly Come Dancing’s most popular professionals have left the show ahead of its its eleventh series in the autumn.

Erin Boag, Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace – who won the 2012 series with Olympic gymnast Louis Smith – are all leaving after a decade on the dancefloor.

Fellow pro Aliona Vilani – who steered McFly’s Harry Judd to victory in the 2011 series – will also not be back this year.

Erin, Vincent and Flavia’s departures were first reported in the Mirror, with a source adding that they were parting with the show amicably.

“It’s upsetting to lose all three at once,” the insider said. “But it hasn’t come after a big fall out or because they are unhappy with the show. They each just feel it’s time to move on.

“Strictly’s gruelling schedule takes up a huge chunk of the year between training, live shows and the successful arena tour.

“Now they feel they have come to the end of the road and have decided to pursue other things.”

Aliona’s exit was confirmed by the BBC later on Saturday – although they did not give a reason for her departure.

Erin is one of only three dancers to have appeared in every series of the show since it began in 2004.

However she has never lifted the Glitterball trophy, coming closest when she partnered runner-up Colin Jackson in 2005.

Last year she partnered Daybreak reporter Richard Arnold, eventually being eliminated in the seventh week.

Vincent Simone, meanwhile, finished as runner-up with singer Rachel Stevens in the 2009 series, and reached the 2012 final with actress Dani Harmer – although they were the first couple eliminated on the night.

Following news of the quartet’s exit, the BBC has revealed the four dancers who will be replacing them on the show.

They include Iveta Lukosiute, who stood in for Aliona in 2012 after she broke her ankle during rehearsals with her partner Johnny Ball.

British dancer and West End performer Emma Slater, Slovenian pro Aljaz Skorjanec and So You Think You Can Dance US finalist Janette Manrara – who has also appeared as a principal dancer in Glee – complete the professional line-up.

Strictly will return in the autumn, with Bruce Forsyth recently confirming he was back on board – but would be absent from three of this year’s show.