Why did Janette Manrara quit Strictly? Aljaz Skorjanec explains wifes big decision

Strictly: Janette grills AJ and Kai on their 'deeper connection'

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Janette joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 alongside Aljaz, following her stint on the US dancing show, So You Think You Can Dance. During her time as a professional dancer on the BBC show, she never won the Glitterball Trophy and the closest she came to getting the title of champion was last year with singer HRVY. Viewers will notice she is absent from proceedings on the main programme this time around and here is everything you need to know about why she left.

Why did Janette Manrara leave Strictly Come Dancing?

It was announced prior to Strictly returning to screen this year Janette would no longer be a member of the cast.

The dancer explained she would be staying as a part of the family as she was going to join the presenting team.

With Zoe Ball declaring her departure from the spin-off show It Takes Two, bosses thought Janette would be the perfect fit.

Aljaz’s wife family accepted the role but with the programme airing on weeknights, there would have been no time for her to rehearse.

As a result, she was taken off the dance floor but her husband has said she took the role because she knew “how big” hosting the show was going to be for her career.

Asked how her husband reacted to the news and whether she was jealous he was still dancing, Janette said in an interview with What To Watch: “Not at all.

“I’ll definitely be an even bigger cheerleader, now I’m not involved. I’ve always been everybody’s cheerleader, but especially of Aljaz because he’s my husband; we’re each other’s biggest fan.

“When I told him I’d got It Takes Two, he was screaming and crying because he knew how big this was for me,” she explained.

“Everyone talks about the ‘Strictly curse’, but this show has been a blessing for our relationship because we’ve been able to do everything together.

“So it’s going to be a different dynamic for us but, nonetheless, an exciting one. I’m still gonna be on the sidelines on a Saturday night cheering him and everyone else on – like some kind of Strictly groupie!”

I am such a lucky man

Aljaz Skorjanec

Last month, Aljaz appeared on the spin-off show alongside his celebrity partner and Dragons’ Den star, Sara Davies.

They were discussing their routine with Janette, in what is the first time the husband and wife duo have featured together on-screen when not dancing.

The professional dancer told his spouse sat on the other side of the sofa: “I can just say this is the proudest I have ever felt in my life.

“I am sitting next to my work wife, I am sitting opposite my wife. I am such a lucky man! I am such a lucky man!”

Janette recently revealed she had helped out with some of the choreography for one of the Strictly professionals’ dances, so she is still somewhat involved in the main show.

The news Janette would be replacing Zoe was announced on The One Show during the summer and Aljaz couldn’t help but post his delight at his wife getting a new role.

In view of his 479,000 Instagram followers, the dancer posted a picture of his wife alongside the caption: “My @jmanrara is the new host of #strictlyittakestwo with @rylan.

“Beyond Happy for you!!! Can’t wait to sit on that sofa… @bbcstrictly Ps. ‘All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them’- Walt Disney.” [Sic]

In a statement revealing her new role, Janette said it was a “dream come true” to be turning her attention to presenting.

Who will replace Janette Manrara on Strictly Come Dancing?

There has been no official word on whether Janette is being replaced on the show but four new professionals were revealed before the new series began.

Along with three new male dancers, Polish performer Jowita Przystal was unveiled as the only female to be joining the cast.

“This is my biggest dream come true. No words can describe how I feel right now. I’m still pinching myself to check if this is real.

“But I am beyond excited to be joining the Strictly Come Dancing family and I can’t wait to give all of my heart and soul on that dance floor!”

It has not been confirmed whether Jowita has been brought in to replace Janette.

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

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