Lincolnshire comedian Robert Webb has said he is “extremely sorry” to withdraw from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing competition following health advice.
Webb, who was an extremely popular contestant, impressing the judges each week, said: “Two years ago I had open heart surgery and although I believed I was fit enough to take on Strictly and its demanding schedule, it became clear that I had bitten off way more than I could chew for this stage of my recovery.
“I had begun to feel symptoms that led me to seek an urgent consultation with my heart specialist, and it was her view that it would be better for the sake of my health to step back from the show.”
He and professional partner Dianne Buswell performed three dances together. He added he “couldn’t have wished for a more talented partner or a more patient teacher.”
He also thanked viewers for supporting him on the show and said he was particularly touched by the words of fellow heart patients.
Buswell said: “I know Robert had a lot more to give to the competition but his health of course comes first and I wish him a speedy recovery. I feel lucky to have danced with him and to call him a friend.”
She added that his “health comes first.”
— Robert Webb (@arobertwebb) October 13, 2021
Webb first discovered his heart problem during a routine checkup in 2019 on the set of Channel 4 sitcom Back. Doctors revealed he was suffering from a heart murmur caused by a mitral valve prolapse.
Robert Webb grew up in the Woodhall Spa area of Lincolnshire. He spoke to The Lincolnite previously about his creative career, literary work and his early years in the county.