Nigel Harman had to leave 'Strictly Come Dancing' after sustaining a rib injury.

Nigel Harman made a shock exit from the ballroom competition on Saturday

Nigel Harman made a shock exit from the ballroom competition on Saturday

The 50-year-old actor had been taking part in the BBC Latin and ballroom competition alongside professional partner Katya Jones, 34, but pulled out of the series just hours before the live show on Saturday (02.12.23) after trying to perform a stunt in rehearsals.

Speaking to hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman during the live show, he said: "I was leaping off a rostrum and was about to be caught by some very handsome men. And, as I flew, I was Peter Pan and as I landed, I was in A+E. So, I've done something to my rib basically and it's quite painful and I'm a little bit high on painkillers as well, but I'm having a lovely time!

"I've loved it, I've loved it and I'm loving it. It's too soon to say 'loved'.It hasn't really sunk in. When I watched everyone come down the stairs, I was like 'Oh, this is real, I'm not part of this anymore'. I've been avoiding Katya all day because that makes it really real."

Nigel and Katya had been due to perform the Charleston to 'Step in Time' from 'Mary Poppins', which the soap star had previously teased was a much more complex routine than he had done in earlier weeks.

Nigel's professional partner broke down in tears as she admitted she had "loved every moment" of her time with the former 'EastEnders' actor - who has an 11-year-old daughter with wife Lucy Liemann - and noted how "proud" his family will be of him of his journey on the show.

She said: "It's quite hard to talk right now, I'm not going to lie. But I have absolutely loved every moment of us creating magic on the dancefloor, I know the reasons you did this is for your daughter and your parents. I know they will be very proud of you and I hope you got something out of this that you're going to cherish forever, other than your broken rib!"

Nigel is known for his role as consultant Max Cristie on the BBC medical drama 'Casualty' and after the news broke that he had had to leave the dance show, the cast and crew jokingly welcomed him into the fictional department at Holby City Hospital for treatment.

A message posted onto the show's Instagram page read: "Sending our love to Nigel Harman. Everyone at #Casualty is wishing you a speedy recovery! You're welcome in the E.D, we will take care of you."

At the top of the show, hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly confirmed that no public vote will take place in the wake of Nigel's exit.

Claudia said: "As you can see, we only have four couples. Unfortunately, Nigel has suffered an injury which means he is unable to perform in tonight's show and has had to withdraw from the competition. That means there will be no public tonight, and no elimination this weekend."

This means that former 'Coronation Street' actress Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola along with tennis legend Annabel Croft and Johannes Radebe, West End star Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin as well as 'EastEnders' actor Bobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell are automatically through to next week's semi-final.

Tess then revealed that the scores given in this week's show will still count and will be carried over before voting resumes as normal in the next stage of the competition.

Tess said: "The judges will still be scoring and those scores will be carried over. You'll be able to vote as usual next week."