The news was first picked up in the Daily Mirror which reported a source as saying that Flavia, Vincent and Erin Boag were all to leave the hit BBC show. This was later confirmed by the BBC and it was also announced that as well as the original 3 professionals reported by the Mirror Aliona Vilani, the Strictly professional champion from 2011, would also be leaving the show.
Flavia, Vincent and Erin have all stated that although they will no longer be a part of the main show they all hope to be involved with the show in the future and Flavia and Vincent have both confirmed that they will be a part of this year’s Strictly Christmas Special.
The news has come as a complete surprise to all Strictly fans and there was no hint of a departure for Vincent and Flavia when they talked about their roles on the show after winning their titles a few days ago as this year’s male and female Rear of the Year.
Aliona has not given any reason for her departure from the show but Flavia, Vincent and Erin are all involved with successful but demanding live shows of their own when they are not working on Strictly so they may feel that with the huge time demands that Strictly makes it is just right for a change for them all. In addition to all this there is now an increasing amount of time taken up with the Strictly arena tour after each series finishes.
All 4 departing pros are among the most successful dancers on Strictly with both Aliona and Flavia being past Strictly professional champions and Erin and Vincent have also made it to the final stages of the competition although they have both narrowly missed out on lifting the famous Strictly glitterball trophy.
Flavia and Vincent no doubt want to have a little free time for their private lives as Vincent looks forward to some time at home with a second child arriving and Flavia planning a wedding to new fiance (and former Strictly competitor) Jimi Mistry.
Although no mention has been made by any of the departing professionals that money is behind their decisions to leave it might be worth remembering that the dance pros received a relatively modest £30,500 each for their parts in the last series of Strictly compared to the far better paid Strictly judges who each took home more than 3 times this amount.
The BBC has announced that the new professional dancers for the 2013 series of Strictly are to be 32-year old Lithuanian Iveta Lukosiute, 26-year old Emma Slater, Janette Manrara from US show So You Think You Can Dance and new male professional, Slovenian dancer Aljaz Skorjanec from tv show Burn The Floor.
We will all get a chance to see the new dancers as well as the latest 2013 crop of Strictly celebrities when the series returns in the Autumn.