Here’s why Amanda Abbington won’t be at the Strictly Come Dancing final

The promotional photo for Amanda Abbington on Strictly Come Dancing.

After a record-breaking series, BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing is finally coming to an end for 2023, with Saturday’s (16 December) final set to feature a group dance that includes all of this year’s contestants, except for Amanda Abbington.

This year’s final three contestants are out gay Bad Education actor Layton Williams, Coronation Street actress Ellie Leach, and EastEnders star Bobby Brazier. 

Before the final three take to the dancefloor for one last time in hopes of taking home the coveted Glitterball Trophy, all the previously eliminated stars will return for one last time,to compete in a show-stopping group dance.

Most of the 12 former contestants are expected to be there – even actor Nigel Harman, who was forced to pull out ahead of the quarter-final due to injury. However, one star won’t be making her Strictly comeback.

Why isn’t Amanda Abbington at the Strictly Come Dancing final?

It has been confirmed that Amanda Abbington won’t be attending the Strictly Come Dancing final.

The Sherlock actress, 51, made it to week five of the competition with partner Giovanni Pernice, achieving fairly impressive scores in the process.

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Amanda Abbington responds to accusations of transphobia in seven-minute long Instagram.
Amanda Abbington. (Getty)

However, she pulled out ahead of week six of the competition and won’t be taking part in the final group number because rather than being eliminated by the public, she made the decision to withdraw from the competition.

In a statement to The Mirror, a BBC spokesperson confirmed that “Amanda decided to withdraw from the competition, therefore she will not be returning for the final.”

Why did she quit Strictly Come Dancing?

Amanda Abbington’s exit from Strictly was confirmed on spin-off show Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two in October, with a statement from the show revealing that she felt “unable” to continue.

“Amanda Abbington is unable to continue in Strictly Come Dancing and has decided to withdraw from the competition. The show wishes her all the best for the future,” it read.

Ahead of the announcement, Abbington shared a quote from the late actor Robin Williams about depression on her Instagram Stories.

After the news of her withdrawal became public, Abbington posted a statement of her own on social media, saying that her decision to leave was not one she took “lightly”, but one she had to make for “personal reasons”.

The I Hate Suzie actress had endured a difficult run on Strictly, with her time on the show marred by controversy after past comments she made about the LGBTQ+ community led to some fans calling for a boycott of the show.

In 2020, she commented on a Facebook post by anti-trans activist Graham Lineham, saying that she had been “hounded off Twitter” and “accused of being a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist)” because she wanted to “have a dialogue” about trans rights.

“It isn’t f**king black and white. You cannot have a penis and want to be referred to as a woman. Sorry, it’s patriarchy gone insane,” she remarked.

In March of this year, she made her views known on “over-sexualised” drag shows, taking aim at family-friendly, sensory drag event Caba Baba Rave, which is created for parents and their babies.

“If you think it is [for babies], there is something fundamentally wrong with you,” she stated.

After it was announced in August that she would be a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, social media erupted with LGBTQ+ people voicing disappointment over her views.

She responded in a lengthy Instagram video, in which she pleaded that she in fact “loves” the “hilarious and brilliant” art form drag.

She added: “My tweet in March was regarding a 12-year-old who was doing it in front of adults and it upset me because I saw a kid, a little kid, doing something very over-sexualised and I didn’t think it was right.”

Also in the video, she distanced herself from the “incredibly hurtful” comment she left on Lineham’s Facebook page, saying she “instantly regretted” it.

She urged that she is “not transphobic” and is a “firm supporter of the legitimate trans community,” and would use her voice to support any trans person who is “feeling persecuted”.

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