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Strictly's Aljaž Škorjanec is accused of 'verbally lashing out at show's crew' before exit


Strictly Come Dancing pro Aljaž Škorjanec has been hit by claims that he ‘verbally lashed out at crew’ on the BBC show before announcing his surprise departure.

The dancer, 32, who on Monday announced he would be leaving the professional lineup, has been accused of upsetting show staff with ‘aggressive and pompous behaviour.’

Aljaz, who last series was paired with Dragon’s Den star Sara Davies, revealing on Monday that he would be leaving Strictly, with sources adding he was ‘on the fence’ about leaving before deciding to move onto other projects.

Claims: Strictly Come Dancing pro Aljaž Škorjanec has been hit by claims that he 'verbally lashed out at crew' on the BBC show before announcing his surprise departure

Claims: Strictly Come Dancing pro Aljaž Škorjanec has been hit by claims that he ‘verbally lashed out at crew’ on the BBC show before announcing his surprise departure

A source told The Sun that members of the crew were left ‘really upset’ by ‘incidents’ involving Aljaz during Strictly’s last series.

They added: ‘ ‘He verbally lashed out at various staff members behind the scenes in what some thought was an unnecessarily aggressive manner.

‘Aljaz was seen by some as arrogant and pompous too – and it left a bad taste in some of the staff’s mouths. Not many people will miss him.’

Claims: The dancer (pictured with his wife Janette Manrara) has been accused of upsetting show staff with 'aggressive and pompous behaviour'

Claims: The dancer (pictured with his wife Janette Manrara) has been accused of upsetting show staff with ‘aggressive and pompous behaviour’

However a representative for Aljaz told the publication: ”Aljaz has the utmost respect for everyone working on the show and it is untrue to say he was forced out or acted in an aggressive manner at any time. It was Aljaz’s decision to leave the show after an incredible 9 years.’

MailOnline has contacted representatives for Strictly and Aljaz for further comment. 

It comes after sources revealed on Monday that Aljaz had made his decision to leave Strictly ‘a little while ago’ having pondered for some time, and is grateful to the show for allowing his ‘dream become a reality’.

Rumours: A source told The Sun that members of the crew were left 'really upset' by 'incidents' involving Aljaz during Strictly's last series

Rumours: A source told The Sun that members of the crew were left ‘really upset’ by ‘incidents’ involving Aljaz during Strictly’s last series 

A source told the Daily Mail: ‘Aljaz had been on the fence about whether to stay on the show but has decided to go on and try different things.’

His departure comes just a month after fellow star Oti Mabuse announced she was quitting the show after seven years.

Aljaž, who won in his debut year in 2013 with model Abbey Clancy, wrote on Instagram: ‘I have lots of exciting stuff planned that I will fill you in on soon. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!’ 

Moving on: It comes after sources revealed on Monday that Aljaz had made his decision to leave Strictly 'a little while ago' (pictured on show with Janette last year)

Moving on: It comes after sources revealed on Monday that Aljaz had made his decision to leave Strictly ‘a little while ago’ (pictured on show with Janette last year)

He follows in the footsteps of his wife Janette Manrara, who announced her own departure from the pro lineup last year as she moved into the presenter role for spin off show It Takes Two. 

In a statement released on social media, Aljaž said: ‘On a beautiful sunny day in May 2013 one phone call changed my life forever!

‘It went like this… we would like to offer you a position on @bbcstrictly as a professional dancer. A dream became a reality and it was the biggest opportunity for a 23 year old boy from Slovenia

Saying goodbye: Aljaž announced his Strictly Come Dancing departure this week following nine years on the show as a professional dancer

Saying goodbye: Aljaž announced his Strictly Come Dancing departure this week following nine years on the show as a professional dancer

‘It didn’t matter how many beautiful ballrooms I performed in during my competitive career, stepping onto the sacred Strictly floor was the most nervous I had ever been.

‘A little while ago I made the tough decision that Strictly 2021 would be my last. The show has given me an opportunity and freedom to create and express myself in front of millions of people every weekend for the last 9 years.

‘The love and support I got from the team of producers was second to none. Jason Gilkison, Sarah James, Kim Winston, Jack Gledhill are just a few of the unsung heroes behind the success of the show – I am forever grateful to them!

 

Speaking out: In a statement released on social media, Aljaž said: 'On a beautiful sunny day in May 2013 one phone call changed my life forever!'

Speaking out: In a statement released on social media, Aljaž said: ‘On a beautiful sunny day in May 2013 one phone call changed my life forever!’

‘Being a part of a group of professionals that inspire and push you to be better every step of the way is humbling and I will carry that inspiration with me forever. Every year the lineup of dancers would change but one thing stayed the same, WE WERE THE BEST! And this is one thing that I know will never change on Strictly!

‘Strictly also has the BEST backstage team – the hair and make-up team, costume department, lighting, sound, props and special effects, camera operators… THANK YOU!’

Alijaz, who won the Glitterball trophy in his first year on the BBC competition, went on to pay tribute to the nine celebrity partners he has danced with on the show, writing: ‘My beautiful partners – Abbey Clancy, Alison Hammond, Helen George, Daisy Lowe, Kate Silverton, Gemma Atkinson, Emma Weymouth, Clara Amfo and Sara Davies.

Popular: The pro dancer joined the show in 2013, with his most recent partner being Dragons Den star Sara Davies (pictured in November 2021)

Popular: The pro dancer joined the show in 2013, with his most recent partner being Dragons Den star Sara Davies (pictured in November 2021)

Loved: Alijaz's fellow pro dancers, Strictly judges and celeb partners commented on his departure statement

Loved: Alijaz’s fellow pro dancers, Strictly judges and celeb partners commented on his departure statement 

It’s hard to put into words how many beautiful memories we have had. I LOVE YOU ALL!’

He also had sweet words for his wife Janette, gushing: ‘To my bucka.. from picking songs, creating stories and choreographing steps we always did it as a team. Your talent and selflessness knows no bounds.

‘We were dating when we started together on the show and now we are husband and wife. We got to perform with Andrea Bocelli, Michael Buble, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, BBC Symphony Orchestra.. moments I will keep in my heart forever. I LOVE YOU!’

Couple: He follows in the footsteps of his wife Janette Manrara , who announced her own departure from the pro lineup last year as she moved into the presenter role for It Takes Two (pictured performing on the show in 2021)

‘And finally, thank YOU, the people that watch Strictly who have been so kind to me all these years. Every comment, vote, kind message never went unnoticed. You are the reason we all do it, thank you!

‘I have lots of exciting stuff planned that I will fill you in on soon. I can’t wait to see what the future holds! KEEEEEP DANCING!’ 

Born in Slovenia, Aljaž took to the dance floor at the age of five and enjoyed much success in his home country, where he won 19 Slovenian championships in Ballroom and Latin. 

For over a decade of competing, he represented Slovenia at a world level. Aljaž joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 and during his first year he lifted the Glitterball Trophy with Abbey Clancy.

Champion: Aljaž joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 and during his first year he lifted the Glitterball Trophy with Abbey Clancy (pictured)

Champion: Aljaž joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 and during his first year he lifted the Glitterball Trophy with Abbey Clancy (pictured)

Other partnerships have included Alison Hammond, Helen George, Gemma Atkinson and, most recently, Sara Davies.

Sarah James, Executive Producer of Strictly Come Dancing said: ‘We are so sad to be saying goodbye to Aljaž after almost a decade as a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing.

‘Since lifting the glitterball with Abbey Clancy in his debut series he has become a firm favourite with viewers across the country. 

‘During his nine series he has provided us with some unforgettable moments on the show through his incredible choreography, passion for dance and heart of gold. He will be missed by his Strictly family, both on and off the dancefloor, and we wish him only the very best as he embarks on his next chapter.’ 

Strictly Come Dancing, a BBC Studios Entertainment Production for the BBC, will return for its twentieth fabulous series on BBC One and BBC iPlayer later in 2022. 

Further details regarding the new series, including the professional dancer line-up, will be confirmed in due course.

Missed: Since lifting the glitterball with Abbey in his debut series he has become a firm favourite with viewers across the country (pictured 2015)

Missed: Since lifting the glitterball with Abbey in his debut series he has become a firm favourite with viewers across the country (pictured 2015)

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