Strictly Come Dancing has lost one of its long-standing dancers after Pasha Kovalev announced he has quit the show.
Writing on Twitter, he confirmed, “After scoring 93 perfect tens, reaching 4 finals and lifting 1 glitter ball, it’s time for me to find a new challenge and so I’ve decided to make last year – my final season on Strictly.
“I’ve had 8 fantastic years, full of wonderful memories, thanks to the incredible partners, professionals and myriad of behind the scenes teams who all work to make Strictly the amazing production that it is.
“The biggest thanks goes to all the members of the public who’ve supported me so much over these years – I look forward to seeing you on the Strictly Pro-Tour this spring, and for many future adventures to come!”
The official Strictly account also shared their own sweet statement, adding a photo of Pasha holding the Glitterball trophy from when he won the 2014 series with Caroline Flack.
Alongside it they wrote, “Sadly after eight incredible series, the brilliant @PashaKovalev has decided to leave #Strictly.
“Pasha, from all of us, thank you for your amazing choreography and routines over the years. You’ll be sorely missed! ”
They added, “Pasha is an incredibly talented and dedicated dancer who is much loved by his Strictly family and viewers and will be hugely missed.”
Caroline also paid tribute to her former dance partner with a series of images on Instagram from their time on the show.
She captioned the post, “SO Sad to hear the news that Pasha is leaving Strictly. You gave me some of the proudest moments of my life…. #champs #glitterball.”
Fans of the show were also devastated, with one commenting, “Pasha we will miss you so much, you’ve been absolutely amazing!! Good luck for the future, can’t wait to see what you have in store.”
While another said, “You will be a massive miss Pasha but wishing you the very best of luck for what the future holds for you”.
Pasha has ended his Strictly career on a record-breaking note after receiving five perfect 40s with partner Ashley Roberts, the most achieved by any couple on the ballroom show.
He also met girlfriend Rachel Riley on the show in 2013, with the couple officially announcing they were dating in 2014.