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Darcey Bussell explains Strictly exit at Norwich show

Darcey Bussell at OPEN Norwich

Darcey Bussell at OPEN Norwich

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Strictly Come Dancing judge Dame Darcey Bussell revealed why she decided to bow out of the show at a Norwich event.

Darcey Bussell at OPEN NorwichDarcey Bussell at OPEN Norwich

The retired ballerina spoke at OPEN Norwich on Tuesday night to launch her new book Evolved at an event hosted by Jarrold.

The new book, which is her first in over six years, includes a collection of rare photographs and anecdotes for her illustrious career.

A sold-out audience watched on in awe as Darcey narrated video clips from her dancing days, including her time in The Royal Ballet where she was principal ballerina until 2007 and the Olympic opening ceremony.

She also spoke about why she has left Strictly Come Dancing and what she has got planned in the future.

Darcey 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 I could even do another seven years.

“I just knew it was time for me to finish and give that place to someone else to judge that wonderful show.

“I do a lot of different projects and present Royal Ballet shows for cinema and it is incredibly rewarding to bring it to an new audience and we go backstage and show the rehearsals and speak to the conductor, orchestra and designers too.

“I also do my Diverse Dance Mix which gets schools in different communities together to perform a two-minute dance from my fitness programme and the amount of enthusiasm is brilliant.”

Darcey also celebrated her 50th birthday at the weekend and revealed how she celebrated the day in style.

Dame Darcey Bussell unveils a blue plaque for Vernon Castle, the Norwich dancer who took over the world. Picture: Neil DidsburyDame Darcey Bussell unveils a blue plaque for Vernon Castle, the Norwich dancer who took over the world. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Darcey added: “I partied hard, I was 50 so you've got to do that when you get to half a century.

“I had about 45 friends and we went on some boats on the Thames for an hour and drank a little too much champagne and then went for a Chinese.

“We did end up dancing the night away but not in the Chinese, we hired a DJ in a student bar.”

Darcey also signed copies of Evolved for fans at the end of the event and earlier in the day unveiled a blue plaque for famous Norwich dancer Vernon Castle at the side of the Premier Inn Hotel in Prince of Wales Road.

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