“Despite this sad ending, it has been a genuine honour to be part of this huge, joyful and barking mad TV show.”
In a video played on BBC Two’s It Takes Two, which announced the news, he said he would “miss learning new dances and being able to do new dances… it’s been a ride”.
Dianne said she was a “massive fan” of Robert’s, meaning she was delighted to learn he was joining the show, and that being partnered with him was the “icing on the cake”. She said they had worked hard “and had a good laugh along the way”.
She added: “I know Robert had a lot more to give to the competition but his health, of course, comes first and I wish him a speedy recovery. I feel lucky to have danced with him and to call him a friend.”
Fellow contestants also sent their best wishes, with BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker saying it had “been wonderful to watch them enjoying every dance each week”.