Entertainment & Arts

Strictly Come Dancing's James Jordan and Artem Chigvintsev quit show

James Jordan and Artem Chigvintsev
Image caption James Jordan (left) had been on Strictly Come Dancing since 2006, while Artem Chigvintsev won in 2010, his first year in the show

Strictly Come Dancing professionals James Jordan and Artem Chigvintsev will not be returning to the BBC show this autumn, the corporation has confirmed.

Jordan, a show regular for eight years, rejected the offer of a reduced role, taking part in one-off specials.

Chigvintsev chose to stay in the US where he was on Dancing with the Stars.

This year's series will be the first to be fully co-presented by Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly after Sir Bruce Forsyth stepped down in April.

Sibling rivalry?

Russian dancer Chigvintsev - who won the eighth series in 2010 with former EastEnders actress Kara Tointon - reached the final in December partnering soap star Natalie Gumede.

Anya Garnis, who joined the show last year and partnered Casualty's Patrick Robinson, will also not return as a main dancer but will remain part of the choreography team.

Jordan turned down the offer of a reduced role, which would not have seen him partnered with a celebrity on the main programme.

Despite leaving the show, his wife, Ola, has signed up for another series which will see eight female and seven male professional dancers compete - including two new faces.

Image copyright Chris Mann/BBC
Image caption Joanne Clifton is the sister of current Strictly professional dancer Kevin, while Tristan MacManus appeared on Dancing with the Stars for three years

Joanne Clifton will dance alongside her brother Kevin, who partnered with then BBC presenter Susanna Reid in 2013, to be the first siblings to participate on the show.

She will be joined by Tristan MacManus, who spent three years on Dancing with the Stars teaming up with celebrities including Pamela Anderson, Gladys Knight and figure skater Dorothy Hamill.

Other returning female dancers include Australian Natalie Lowe, who was forced to pull out of the last series due to injury, Aliona Vilani, Iveta Lukosiute, Janette Manrara, Karen Hauer and Kristina Rihanoff.

The male professionals are completed by Aljaz Skorjanec, Anton du Beke, Brendan Cole, Pasha Kovalev and Robin Windsor.

Executive producer Louise Rainbow, said: "We're delighted that Joanne and Tristan will be joining our fantastic cast of professional dancers this year and look forward to them becoming part of the Strictly family."

"A huge thank you goes out to both Artem and James for being hardworking, dedicated dancers on the show, and we wish them all the very best in their future endeavours."

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