Entertainment & Arts

Russell Grant misses dance show opening night due to injury

Russell Grant with former Strictly partner Flavia Cacace
Image caption Grant danced with Flavia Cacace (r) on the 2011 series of Strictly Come Dancing

Russell Grant had to miss the opening night of his West End reunion with Strictly Come Dancing stars Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone due to an injury sustained during rehearsals.

The astrologer had been due to mark his 62nd birthday on Tuesday by appearing in Midnight Tango at a London theatre.

"We are so sorry that our dear friend Russell can't join us on stage," said Cacace and Simone in a statement.

Grant danced with Cacace during the 2011 series of the BBC's Strictly.

His ankle injury, caused by him slipping on black ice during rehearsals, has prevented him from making any appearances at the Phoenix, where Midnight Tango has been running since 30 January.

"We were looking forward to celebrating Russell's birthday with him," said former Strictly judge Arlene Phillips, one of the show's producers, on Tuesday.

"I wish him a speedy recovery, so that he can be back on stage, where he belongs, as soon as possible."

Image caption Cacace performs with Vincent Simone in the Midnight Tango stage show

"We look forward to having him join us in the show as soon as he is able to perform again," said Cacace and Simone.

First staged in 2011, Midnight Tango sees the two professional dancers joined by 10 others for what is described as "a spectacular and explosive evening [that] brings to life all the drama, sensuality and elegance of the tango".

Once he has recuperated, Grant will be seen as bar owner Carlos - a role that will enable him to dance the Argentine tango, a dance he never had the opportunity to perform during his time on Strictly.

Cacace and her most recent celebrity partner, Olympic gymnast Louis Smith, were crowned Strictly Come Dancing champions at the climax of the programme's 2012 series.

Simone and his 2012 partner, children's TV star Dani Harmer, came fourth in the competition.

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