Strictly Come Dancing bosses were reportedly left ‘blindsided’ after AJ Pritchard’s sudden exit from the show.
The 25-year-old recently announced he had decided to leave the show after four years.
However, an insider told The Sun that his decision was ‘terrible timing’ for the series.
‘Things are really tough at the moment,’ the insider said. ‘The show doesn’t come back until the Autumn but, by now, the programme would have liked to have one or two big celeb names signed up.
‘So far there is nobody on the books. Everything has been put on hold because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘Now, as well as facing a search for big names, the bosses need to replace one of their top male dancers.’
The professional dancer recently admitted it was a ‘relief’ to quit Strictly and focus on his career with brother Curtis Pritchard.
‘We would love to be that presenting duo, like them. We want to bring our brand — that all-singing, all-dancing Saturday night style of family entertainment, a bit like Bruce Forsyth,’ AJ said, mentioning Curtis.
He later told The Sun there were things he wasn’t able to do while featuring on Strictly, explaining: ‘I didn’t have a life and I wanted to be able to do more.’
‘AJ would like to thank the team at Strictly and everyone at the BBC for giving him such a brilliant opportunity.
‘AJ would also like to send his love and gratitude to all who have followed and supported his career. He is excited for you all to join him on the next chapter in his journey.’
Metro.co.uk has contacted Strictly Come Dancing and reps for AJ for comment.
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