Strictlys Tess and Claudia open show with message to Amanda Abbington

Strictly: Amanda Abbington withdraws from the show

Opening Halloween Week, Strictly Come Dancing hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly acknowledged Amanda Abbington’s decision to quit the show as they “sent love” to the actress.

After the four judges made their iconic entrances in their spooky costumes, Claudia announced: “Earlier this week, Amanda Abbington withdrew from the competition.

“Amanda, we are sending you all our love.”

The announcement was met with applause from the audience as Tess agreed: “Yes,” before introducing the 10 remaining couples.

Amanda missed last week’s show for “medical reasons” before announcing her decision to leave on Monday.

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Rumours about the Sherlock actress calling it a day had been swirling ever since Amanda was forced to pull out of last weekend’s live show alongside her dance partner Giovanni Pernice.

Confirming Amanda’s exit earlier this week, a Strictly Come Dancing spokesperson stated: “Amanda Abbington is unable to continue in Strictly Come Dancing and has decided to withdraw from the competition.

“‘The show wishes her all the best for the future'”.

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On Friday, Amanda’s fiancé Jonathan Goodwin shared a cryptic post seemingly related to her exit from the show.

“When you see an iceberg you could be forgiven for not realising just how much is below the surface,” the 43-year-old former stunt performer wrote on Instagram.

Sherlock actress Amanda, 51, had previously urged followers to “be kind” in a post that quoted the late Robin Williams saying: “People don’t fake depression… they fake being okay.”

Amanda has not yet confirmed her reasons for deciding to pull out of the competition but cited “personal reasons” and assured followers that she’d had “the deepest regret” about not being able to continue.

In the past, Amanda suffered mental health struggles, particularly during the break-up of a 16-year relationship with fellow actor Martin Freeman.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Sunday at 6.30pm on BBC One.

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