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Nigel Harman exits Strictly due to injury as Layton Williams scores perfect 40

Nigel Harman and Katya Jones (Ray Burniston/BBC/PA)
Nigel Harman and Katya Jones (Ray Burniston/BBC/PA)

Nigel Harman has said he “loved” his time on Strictly Come Dancing after being forced to withdraw from the competition due to injuring his rib while practising a jump in rehearsals.

The Casualty star revealed during the quarter-final show on Saturday that he had been taken to A&E after he fell and that it had not quite “sunk in” that he would not be performing anymore.

The musical-themed episode also saw screen and theatre star Layton Williams score the first perfect 40 of the series, but due to Harman’s departure the show will have no public vote or elimination this weekend.

Harman and his professional partner Katya Jones were due to perform a Charleston to Step In Time from Disney’s Mary Poppins before it was announced on Saturday afternoon that he would no longer compete due to the injury.

Appearing on the show alongside Jones, Harman told host Claudia Winkleman: “I was leaping off a rostrum and was about to be caught by some very handsome men and as I flew, I was Peter Pan and as I landed, I was in A&E.

“I’ve done something to my rib basically and it’s quite painful. I’m a little bit high on painkillers as well, but I’m having a lovely time.”

Reflecting on his time on the show, he added: “I’ve loved it and I am loving it. It’s too soon to say loved.

“And this hasn’t really sunk in. When I watched everyone come down the stairs I was like ‘Oh, this is real. I’m not part of this anymore’ and that’s quite sad. I’ve been avoiding Kat all day as that makes it really real as well.”

The actor also praised Jones, saying: “The only reason I’m standing here is because of all the work you’ve put into me.

“You challenge me, you push me, you support me, you make me laugh. And then you do extraordinary things on the floor with choreography and creativity. But most of all, you’re just part of me now.”

An emotional Jones said she had “absolutely loved every moment of us creating magic on a dancefloor”, adding: “I know the reasons you did this, for your daughter and for your parents and especially missing out on this number, I know your parents would be very, very proud of you.

“And I hope you got something out of this that you’re going to cherish forever in your broken rib.”

The show then played a montage of clips of his time on the show.

Elsewhere in the episode, Williams performed a dramatic paso doble to Backstage Romance from Moulin Rouge! The Musical with his partner Nikita Kuzmin.

The Bad Education star showed off his high kick and quick footwork skills before being dragged across the floor in splits and being lifted into the air at the end.

Motsi Mabuse gave him a standing ovation and said “this is how you come back from a dance-off”, and described the performance as “stunning”.

Craig Revel Horwood said it brought him back to his time performing in the Moulin Rouge, and described the routine as “fab-u-lous”.

Actress Ellie Leach placed second with a score of 36 for her theatrical quickstep to the song Belle from Beauty And The Beast.

Dressed as the Disney princess in a blue and white dress, she glided and twirled across the room with her dance partner Vito Coppola, who donned a Gaston costume with billowing white shirt and red waistcoat.

Head judge Shirley Ballas said the narrative she told throughout the performance was “off the charts”, adding: “You did a wonderful job of opening the show, well done.”

Anton Du Beke also praised her as the “Belle of the ball”, before adding that he “absolutely loved” the routine.

Actor Bobby Brazier soared to new heights with his dance partner Dianne Buswell as they took on the classic Dirty Dancing lift during their musicals week routine.

The couple danced the salsa to the song (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life from the 1987 film, which landed them a score of 34.

Du Beke said he felt the lift was executed with “great style and great panache”, while Revel Horwood felt it had “failed” in his mind as Buswell was not able to raise her arms into the air due to how the actor had lifted her.

Former tennis star Annabel Croft and her partner Johannes Radebe followed closely behind with a score of 33 for their emotional foxtrot to the track For Good from the musical Wicked.

Croft donned a black dress with a sparkly top and flowing skirt while painted green to transform into the Wicked Witch Of The West for the dance.

Du Beke said her frame was “the best in the whole competition” and that the performance reflected their relationship “perfectly”.

Hosts Winkleman and Tess Daly clarified during the show that the judges’ scores for the dances would be carried over to next week.

The results show on Sunday evening will see the professional dancers perform a routine from My Fair Lady and the singer Joss Stone will sing This Time from new musical The Time Traveller’s Wife.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC One.