Strictly Come Dancing has been adding glitter to Saturday nights since its return on Saturday 18 September.
The 2021 series has once again seen professional dancers take hopeful celebrities under their wing to perform on the Strictly ballroom – both for the judges and the voting public at home.
One of this year’s stars was comedian, actor, writer and presenter Robert Webb.
He was partnered with Dianne Buswell, with the pair performing a memorable Tango and Muppet-themed quickstep during their time together on the show.
But sadly, the Peep Show star has had to leave the competition on doctor’s orders, after experiencing symptoms related to his past open-heart surgery.
Find out all you need to know about his surgery, his career and his hilarious dancing past…
When did Robert Webb have heart surgery?
The comedian had emergency surgery in 2019 after a routine check-up revealed he had a heart murmur caused by a mitral valve prolapse.
Recalling the results of the echocardiogram in an interview with the Guardian, Webb said the doctor painted a pretty dire picture.
‘[He said] I’m not saying you’re going to have a heart attack in the next fortnight…
‘But if the problem isn’t addressed, then in the next two or four or six months… this heart will fail.’
He received the life-saving surgery swiftly after and was signed off work for three and a half months, later tweeting that his ‘heart had turned itself into a magimix blender.’
Ahead of starting the show, Webb had joked about mentioning his heart surgery as often as possible in a bid to win over the judges.
He told The Mirror: ‘I’m going to mention it as often as possible!
‘Actually, it’ll be the two year anniversary of my heart surgery on Halloween, so that will be the show where I get my scar covered in glitter.’
But now, after three weeks in the competition, Webb is calling an end to his Strictly journey after experiencing worrying symptoms in training.
In a statement, he 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.
‘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.
‘I’m proud of the three dances that Dianne Buswell and I managed to perform and deeply regret having to let her down like this. I couldn’t have wished for a more talented partner or more patient teacher, and it’s a measure of Dianne’s professionalism and kindness that I was able to get as far as I did.
‘Thanks too to everyone at home who voted for us. It was always going to be a difficult mountain to climb (for one thing it’s made of glitter so it’s very skiddy) and I’ve been especially touched by the support from fellow heart patients. I think perhaps I was too eager to impress them.
‘They will know that recovery doesn’t always go in a straight line, and I hope they’re not too disappointed that I ran into the limits of my resilience much sooner than I’d hoped.
‘I leave knowing that Strictly viewers are in very safe hands and I’ll be cheering for my brother and sister contestants all the way to Christmas. Despite this sad ending, it has been a genuine honour to be part of this huge, joyful and barking mad TV show. Long may it continue.’
Who is Robert Webb?
Robert, 48, is a comedian, actor, writer and presenter, one of his best-known works being his starring role on Channel 4 series Peep Show.
As one half of the double comedy act Mitchell and Webb, with fellow Peep Show star David Mitchell, Robert has also appeared in shows including That Mitchell and Webb Look and sitcom The Smoking Room.
Robert has made numerous panel show appearances, being featured on series such as Have I Got News For You, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and QI.
He recently starred on sitcom Back with David, with series two airing earlier this year.
Who is Robert Webb’s wife?
Robert has been married to fellow comedian Abigail Burdess since 2006.
They live in north London with their two daughters.
When did Robert perform his Flashdance parody – how can I watch it?
The Peep Show star wasn’t a stranger to the world of dance before signing up to Strictly, having performed a memorable Flashdance parody for Comic Relief many moons ago.
In 2009, Robert channeled his best Alex Owens when he recreated her routine to ‘What A Feeling’ from the 1983 film Flashdance.
His performance was part of the BBC One programme Let’s Dance, which saw him dance in an effort to raise money for Comic Relief.
The comedian began his performance dressed in Alex’s welder uniform before revealing his leotard underneath, completing his look with a wig of unmistakable 80s curls.
After being saved by the public vote in the first week of the competition, Robert was eventually crowned the overall winner, having made it to the final in week four.
His series of Let’s Dance ended up raising an incredible £300,000 for Comic Relief.
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One on Saturday at 7pmCredit: Original article published here.