Former pro Joanne Clifton believes Robert Webb’s quickstep put pressure on his heart

Strictly: Janette announces Robert Webb has quit show

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Former Strictly professional Joanne Clifton, 37, has revealed in a new interview why she thinks Robert Webb, 49, had to leave the show. Joanne believes Strictly Come Dancing is really tough, especially for someone who has pre-existing health conditions.

He did quickstep. That is a lot on your heart.

Joanne Clifton

Joanne performed on Strictly Come Dancing from 2014 to 2016, winning the show’s Christmas special in 2015 with Harry Judd.

Speaking exclusively to the Mirror, Joanne detailed the hard Strictly training regime and the effect this can have on contestants.

She said: “Strictly is tough.

“People don’t realise but apart from rehearsals, which can be 11 or 12 hours a day, the actual performance itself with the adrenalin is going to up your heart rate.”

Joanne added: “He did quickstep. That is a lot on your heart.

“Your heart rate is going to go up and up and up. So, I absolutely get it!”

The former Strictly professional added that there is so much that goes into the live show with training during the week, rehearsals on a Friday and then the same on the Saturday as well as a dress run.

Speaking on the podcast Joanne shares with her brother, Kevin Clifton, she revealed that she thinks Strictly might work a bit differently this year due to the early exits.

Speaking on The Kevin Clifton Show she said: “I guess it’s going to be a three-couple final again like in 2016 unless they do a week when nobody gets kicked off. I don’t know.”

Robert announced he was leaving the show on Wednesday night, apologising to Strictly fans.

The statement said: “I’m extremely sorry to have to announce that I’m withdrawing from Strictly Come Dancing due to ill health.

“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 in my recovery.”

He added: “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.”

Many Strictly stars have spoken on his exit, with his partner Dianne Buswell speaking out on Instagram.

She said: “Sadly the legacy of Buswell and Webb has come to an end.

“Even though this was short lived, I have had such an amazing time dancing and working alongside Robert from our wacky cha cha to that serious tango, Robert showed he could do it all.”

News of another star pulling out of this week’s show hit the news this evening with Ugo Monye missing Saturday’s show due to back issues.

He wrote on Twitter: “Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to dance this weekend on the show.

“I have a history of back problems which have always been managed under the guidance of medical professionals. Unfortunately, this has been causing me some unwanted problems this week!”

His withdrawal comes a day after Robert pulled out of the series entirely.

Strictly Come Dancing airs at 7pm on Saturday on BBC One.

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