Darcey Bussell didn't want to "push [her] luck" by remaining as a judge on 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

Darcey Bussell

Darcey Bussell

The 50-year-old retired ballerina shocked the Latin and ballroom show's supporters last month by announcing she was stepping down from the judging panel after seven years, and has now admitted the decision didn't come easily.

She said: "It is not a decision that came easily at all.

"But I knew I had the most amazing time for seven years and it is like pushing your luck to think that I could even do another seven years.

"So I just knew it was time for me to finish and to give that place for somebody else to judge on that wonderful show."

While she became a household name from judging on 'Strictly', Darcey is keen for her two daughters to remember her as a classical dancer as well as the BBC One programme.

She added to The Sun newspaper's Bizarre TV column: "I do have boxes and boxes of memorabilia. I think it comes from everywhere you perform, as I have been so fortunate to perform around the world.

"I do it for my daughters, as I want them to remember me as a classical dancer and not just a judge on 'Strictly'."

Last month, the former Royal Ballet pro insisted she wasn't departing the programme due to "any upset or disagreement" and simply wants to focus on her "many other commitments in dance".

Darcey - who became a full-time judge on the show's 10th series in 2012 - said in a statement: "It has been a complete privilege for me to be part of 'Strictly', working with such a talented team.

"I have enjoyed every minute of my time and will miss everyone from my fellow judges, the presenters, the dancers, the musicians, the entire back stage team, and especially the viewers of the show, who have been so supportive.

"I am not leaving because of any upset or disagreement at all, I am just stepping away to give more focus to my many other commitments in dance, after seven truly wonderful years that I can't imagine having gone any better."

Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, and Bruno Tonioli remain on the judging panel.

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