Zoe Ball leaves Strictly: It Takes Two

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image captionZoe Ball also hosts the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast show

Presenter Zoe Ball has announced she is leaving Strictly Come Dancing's spin-off programme It Takes Two.

She has presented the show, which is broadcast every weekday evening during Strictly's run, since 2011.

"Dance lovers, after 10 joyous years I am waltzing away from It Takes Two," Ball wrote on Instagram.

She said it was "time for some new cha cha challenges" and thanked "the whole Strictly clan... I will miss you all immensely."

Ball continued to co-present the programme even after she began hosting the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show in 2019.

However, she reduced the number of It Takes Two episodes she presented every week, with Rylan Clark-Neal fronting the programme on certain days in her place.

Ball also announced that professional dancer Ian Waite, who regularly appears on the show to critique the contestants, would also be leaving the programme after 10 years.

In her statement, Ball thanked Waite as well as other regular show contributors Gethin Jones and costume designer Vicky Gill.

"As a massive @BBCStrictly fan I have loved spending my Autumn teatimes with the celebrity dancers, the gorgeous & awesome pro dancers, the judges, my girl Vicky Gill, Rylan, Gethin & of course my main man Ian Waite," Ball said.

"Time now for some new cha cha challenges. I will continue to support the Strictly family on the Breakfast Show & can't wait to watch the Class Of 2021 from my sofa. Huge love & grateful thanks to Tess [Daly] & Claudia [Winkleman] & the whole Strictly clan, the It Takes Two fans, my Glam Squad, Eve Winstanley, Alex McLeod, the BBC2 gang, & of course the best telly crew ever. I will miss you all immensely."

image captionStrictly presenter Tess Daly was among those praising Ball for her presentation of It Takes Two

The BBC has not yet confirmed if Rylan will take over presenting the show full time, or if a new co-presenter will be brought in.

A BBC spokesman said: "We'd like to thank Zoe for an amazing decade on It Takes Two, and she'll always be part of the Strictly family. We will miss her sense of fun, passion for all things dance, and those amazing sequinned jumpers. We'll announce plans for the show in due course."

Tess Daly, who presents the main Strictly series on BBC One, was one of several high-profile figures who paid tribute to Ball.

"Oh nooo... We will miss you SO so much!" Daly wrote in the Instagram comments. "Loved every minute watching you on the show; laughing along with you and watching you get teary-eyed every now and then because your gorgeous big heart was bursting for them. You are just BRILLIANT XXXX."

Clara Amfo, who competed on the show last year, added: "You do this job with such genuine joy and ease! Thank You for always making It Takes Two the sweetest addition to the experience!"

Professional dancer and current Strictly champion Oti Mabuse said: "We are going to miss you so much! You've always been a deep part of the family ❤️ looking forward to hearing you on the radio."

Before Ball took over presenting duties, It Takes Two was hosted by Claudia Winkleman, who later moved to Strictly Come Dancing after the departure of Bruce Forsyth.

Ball herself competed in the third series of Strictly. She made it to the final but cricketer Darren Gough eventually won the glitterball trophy.

Ball is the highest paid female star at the BBC, and earns more than £1m for presenting the Radio 2 breakfast show.

Her salary for It Takes Two is not included in the corporation's annual report as it is produced by the BBC's commercial arm, BBC Studios.

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