The Peep Show star confirmed the news on Wednesday, explaining that it was due to 49-year-old Robert’s ill health following major heart surgery.
Just a day later, fellow contestant Ugo Monye announced he’ll be sitting out of this weekend’s live show too, following issues stemming from an ongoing injury.
Strictly exits are rare, but there have been some instances of it happening in the past.
But who else has had to waltz from the ballroom before their time?
Which celebrities have had to quit Strictly?
The following celebrities have had to sidestep from the competition for various reasons.
Jimmy Tarbuck – series 4
The 2006 installment of Strictly saw the first celebrity sashay away before their time.
Jimmy Tarbuck, who was 66-years-old at the time, was partnered with Flavia Cacace on the series.
He had to pull out after health complications, with a BBC statement at the time explaining: ‘Following a doctor’s assessment this week, Jimmy, the doctors and the BBC have come to the decision that for the good of Jimmy’s health he should no longer take part.’
The comedian was gutted about it and said: ‘I’m absolutely devastated that I can no longer take part.’
Kelly Brook – series 5
Model Kelly Brook, 41, decided to leave the fifth series of the show following the death of her father from cancer.
Brook, who had been one of the favourites to win, had hoped to continue with the show and dance in her father’s memory, but found it too difficult.
She was paired with Brendan Cole at the time.
John Sergeant – series 6
John Sergeant, 77, dropped out of the show for fear of winning.
Former political editor of ITN John – who was partnered with Kristina Rihanoff – consistently finished bottom of the leaderboard, but the public keep voting him through to the next round.
The BBC’s former Chief Political Correspondent from 1992 to 2000 voluntarily left the show in Week 10 following a farewell dance, saying: ‘The trouble is that there is now a real danger that I might win the competition.
‘Even for me that would be a joke too far.’
Jade Johnson – series 7
Track and field athlete Jade, 41 – who was paired with Ian Waite – withdrew from Strictly in 2009 after a serious knee injury.
The long jump star heard her knee ‘pop’ during rehearsals and had to miss two weeks of the competition.
Speaking about her departure, she said: ‘I’m a competitor and I don’t give up easily so I’m absolutely gutted that it means that I can’t continue dancing in the show.
‘I’ve had a great time and really enjoyed learning to dance, and I am going to miss training with Ian (Waite) who has been a fantastic partner.
‘I’d like to thank all of the people at home who have been supporting me right the way through.’
Will Young – series 14
Singer Will Young, 42, who was partnered with Karen Hauer, suddenly left the competition in 2016.
Will’s statement at the time read: ‘To be a part of Strictly has been a long time ambition of mine.
‘I have found a creative partnership with Karen that has been the most wonderful thing to experience.
‘Unfortunately, I am leaving the show for personal reasons. I leave with joy in my heart that I have been able to take part in one of the most loved shows on British television.’
He later revealed that the reason was due to battles with anxiety.
‘I was just very ill,’ he told Event magazine in 2019.
‘There’s no way I should’ve been doing that show. I tried to back out of it actually. Then got persuaded back by being told, “Will the BBC want to work with you? You’re risking a lot”.’
He added: ‘So I did it, but with panic attacks the whole time. I would keep going out for a cigarette and think, “I don’t really want to be here”. Then I thought, “I don’t have to be here”, so I left.
‘It was so liberating, the best thing I ever did. You’ve only got one life.’
Jamie Laing – series 17
Before the live shows even started, Jamie Laing, 32, had to drop out of the runnings.
The Made in Chelsea star was meant to appear on the 2017 edition of the show, but had to pull out after landing awkwardly during the group dance on the pre-recorded opening show and hurt his foot.
In a statement, the BBC said: ‘Sadly, due to an injury, Jamie Laing will no longer be able to take part in this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing. As the Strictly launch show is pre-recorded, Jamie will still feature in this programme which airs Saturday, September 7.’
Jamie added: ‘I’m absolutely devastated that I’m unable to continue in the competition, I was so excited to hit the dance floor.
‘I would like to wish the lovely couples all the very best and hope they enjoy their time on the show to the fullest.’
The reality star was replaced by Emmerdale actor Kevin Fletcher and ended up winning the show with Obi Mabuse.
The following year Jamie finally got to make his dancing debut and took part in the 18th series alongside Karen Hauer, where he was crowned runner-up.
Will Bayley – series 17
Disaster struck series 17 again when Will Bayley, 33, was forced to leave the competition due to a knee injury.
The British Paralympic table tennis player took part in the 17th series with Janette Manrara.
After suffering an injury in week five, the sports star decided to stand down from the competition to make sure he wouldn’t jeopardise his future in the Tokyo Paralympic games the following year.
He said: ‘I’m gutted my Strictly journey has had to come to an end. I’ve loved being part of the show, and am so grateful for the phenomenal support we have received.
‘I want to say a special thank you to Janette for believing in me, and giving me the confidence to believe in myself.’
Nicola Adams – series 18
Fans were gutted when Nicola Adams, 38, had to leave series 18 of the show.
The boxer, part of the show’s first-ever same-sex couple, was forced to exit after dancing partner Katya Jones tested positive for Covid-19.
Nicola explained: ‘I’m absolutely devastated my Strictly journey has come to an end so soon.
‘I had so much more to give and so many people to win this for! But I just want to say a huge thank you to Katya for being the best dance partner anyone could ask for.
‘She pushed me way out of my comfort zone and it’s been an incredible experience.
‘I’m gutted to be out of the competition but in these unprecedented times and as frustrating as it is, the Covid measures in place are to keep everyone safe, and I’m doing what I can to help.’