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Strictly Come Dancing 2019: Who will replace Darcey Bussell? Who will be the new judge? | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV

Category: Entertainment,Gossip

Strictly Come Dancing will return to our screens in Autumn. The show's judges have been Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Dame Darcey Bussell for the past seven years, with Shirley Ballas replacing Len Goodman in 2017. Sadly, Bussell has announced she is leaving the judging panel but who will follow in her footsteps?

Who will replace Darcey Bussell as the new judge?

Darcey Bussell announced she was leaving Strictly Come Dancing this afternoon (Monday, April 10).

At the moment her replacement has not been announced but that has not stopped fans and bookmakers speculating who will return.

At Coral, Karen Hardy is the 2/1 favourite to replace Darcey Bussell on Strictly Come Dancing.

Hardy is a professional ballroom dancer and previously appeared as a professional on Strictly from 2005 and 2009 and is a regular contributor on It Takes Two.


Coral’s Harry Aitkenhead said: “It’s going to be very sad news for Strictly fans that Darcey won’t be continuing as a judge, however, we’re sure there'll be huge excitement over who will replace her.

“We make Karen Hardy the hot favourite to step into her shoes, at 2/1. Hardy won the show with Mark Ramprakash back in 2006 and could well be the perfect fit to step back onto the show as a judge.”

The next favourites to replace Bussell are Ballroom and Latin dancer Helen Richey at odds of 3/1, professional ballroom dancer Gary Edwards at odds of 5/1 and Latin American professional Ian Waite at odds of 6/1.

Aitkenhead said: “Helen Richey is a popular figure, having starred a judge over on Australia’s Dancing with the Stars, whilst Gary Edwards and Ian Waite might be strong interim candidates.”

Former Strictly judge Len Goodman is at odds of 16/1 to rejoin the panel.

Coral's odds are:

  • Karen Hardy 2/1
  • Helen Richey 3/1
  • Gary Edwards 5/1
  • Iain Waite 6/1
  • Brendan Cole 8/1
  • Arlene Phillips 12/1
  • Anton du Beke 12/1
  • Len Goodman 16/1


Another huge name thrown into the mix in contention to be the brand new judge is Cheryl.

Cheryl has recently finished her stint as a judge on BBC's The Greatest Dancer.

Betfair spokesperson Katie Baylis said: “Oti Mabuse might be the big 6/4 favourite to take over the judges seat from Dame Darcey, but her fellow Greatest Dancer judge, Cheryl Cole could also be a dark horse for the coveted role.

“Cheryl is currently 20/1 to take over, but despite being an outsider at this stage, and never having appeared on Strictly, she’d surely be a big ratings puller for the BBC and is obviously no stranger to a Saturday night talent show spot.”

Betfair's odds for the favourite to replace Bussell are:

  • Oti Mabuse 6/4
  • Anton De Beke 2/1
  • Karen Hardy 4/1
  • Brendan Cole 8/1
  • Arlene Philips 8/1
  • Helen Richey 16 /1
  • Cheryl Cole 20/1
  • Alfonso Ribero 50/1

Bussell broke the news that she was leaving Strictly to her 172k followers on Twitter today.

She gave her reason for leaving as wanting to “give more focus” to her other dancing commitments.

Bussell also addressed any speculation that she quit due to any internal feuds or problems and also teased she may return.

Her statement reads: “It has been a complete privilege for me to be part of Strictly, working with such a talented team.

“I have enjoyed every minute of my time and will miss everyone from my fellow judges, the presenters, the dancers, the musicians, the entire backstage team, and especially the viewers of the show, who have been so supportive.

“I am not leaving because of any upset or disagreement at all, I am just stepping away to give more focus to my many other commitments in dance, after seven truly wonderful years that I can’t imagine having gone any better.

“I know I will miss being part of this unique show and the fact that it celebrates dance is something I am so passionate about. I hope that I may be very lucky to be asked back again one day”.

Bussell has been a judge on the popular dancing series for the past seven years.

The BBC has also released a statement confirming Bussell’s departure.

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, said: “It has been an absolute honour to have Darcey, a national treasure and British dance icon, bring her passion for dance and her graceful presence to the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel for seven consecutive years.

“She will be thoroughly missed by us all and will, of course, remain part of the Strictly family in the future.”

Suzy Lamb, MD, Entertainment & Music, BBC Studios said: “We feel very fortunate to have had Darcey on the Strictly judging panel for seven glorious years.

“Her exceptional knowledge of dance and generous spirit have helped many a celebrity keep dancing. Darcey is much loved by the entire Strictly family and I know will be missed in both the ballroom and in sitting rooms across the country.“

Strictly Come Dancing returns in Autumn 2019.

All odds are accurate as of April 10, 2019.

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