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Four professionals quit Strictly

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Four professional dancers have quit Strictly Come Dancing just shy of the popular celeb reality competition's tenth anniversary.

Three female dancers and one male professional have decided to part ways with the show - Erin Boag, Aliona Vilani and dancing partners Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace.

Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone are a shock departure for the show. The pair, who are also in a professional partnership, are leaving the show arm in arm, which follows their joint arrival in series four.

The tenth anniversary of the show is looming, set to return in Autumn, while host Bruce Forsyth is expected to greatly reduce his workload for the next season.

"After an incredible and unforgettable 2012 on Strictly Come Dancing for both Vincent and I, we have decided we won't be partnering a celebrity on this year's show," Cacace explained in a statement.

Professional partners Vincent and Flavia announce their departure

Cacace, who lifted the trophy with Louis Smith on the most recent series, added: "We have exciting times ahead with Vincent having his second child and me being newly engaged. We thank our supporters for always being there and hope that together with us they look forward to exciting times ahead."

Cacace and Louis Smith celebrate their 2012 win

Boag explained in a statement today: "After 10 wonderful years, and with a truly heavy heart, I have decided to decline the BBC's very kind offer to compete again in series 11, and have withdrawn from being a competitive dancer on Strictly Come Dancing."

Erin Boag also departs the series

Viliani has been battling injury for a number of months, following her whirlwind success taking home the trophy with McFly's Harry Judd in 2011. The BBC Press Office have confirmed Vilani will not return for another series after sitting out the recent one due to injury in rehearsals.

Vilani with Johnny Ball, who she trained with but was forced to withdraw as his partner in 2012

The four professionals will be replaced by: 19-year-old Slovenian male dancer Aljaž Skorjanec, British latin dance champion Emma Slater, Florida-born Janette Manrara, and returning as a fully-fledged cast member will be Iveta Lukosiute, who stepped in for an injured Vilani in 2012 to partner with Johnny Ball, now acting as her permanent replacement.

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