Robert Webb has quit 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

Dianne Buswell and Robert Webb

Dianne Buswell and Robert Webb

The 49-year-old comic - who is partnered by Dianne Buswell - has decided to withdraw from the competition after seeking an "urgent consolidation" with the specialist overseeing his recovery from heart surgery and realising he isn't at the right stage of his recovery to cope with the demands of the show.

He said in a statement:"I'm extremely sorry to have to announce that I’m withdrawing from 'Strictly Come Dancing' due to ill health.

"Two years ago I had open heart surgery and although I believed I was fit enough to take on 'Strictly' and its demanding schedule, it became clear that I had bitten off way more than I could chew for this stage in my recovery.

"I had begun to feel symptoms that led me to seek an urgent consultation with my heart specialist, and it was her view that it would be better for the sake of my health to step back from the show."

The 'Peep Show' star paid tribute to his dance partner and thanked fans for their support, in particular those who have had similar health issues to his.

He continued: "I'm proud of the three dances that Dianne Buswell and I managed to perform and deeply regret having to let her down like this.

"Icouldn’t have wished for a more talented partner or more patient teacher, and it’s a measure of Dianne’s professionalism and kindness that I was able to get as far as I did.

"Thanks too to everyone at home who voted for us. It was always going to be a difficult mountain to climb (for one thing it’s made of glitter so it’s very skiddy) and I’ve been especially touched by the support from fellow heart patients.

"I think perhaps I was too eager to impress them. They will know that recovery doesn’t always go in a straight line, and I hope they’re not too disappointed that I ran into the limits of my resilience much sooner than I’d hoped."

Dianne is devastated by the circumstances surrounding their departure but is happy to have made a "friend" in Robert.

She said: “As a massive fan of Robert’s I was delighted to find out that he was joining the 'Strictly' family.

"On top of this, to find out he was my partner was the icing on the cake. We made a great team, worked hard and had a good laugh along the way.

"I am so proud of the three amazing dances we produced.

"I know Robert had a lot more to give to the competition but his health of course comes first and I wish him a speedy recovery. I feel lucky to have danced with him and to call him a friend.”