Strictly star Darcey Bussells life – Piers Morgan row, real name and BBC exit

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell is celebrating her birthday, and she is sure to be spending it in style.

The famous dancer, 53, is well-known for gracing international stages as one of the most renowned ballerinas the world has ever seen, along with being a Strictly panellist.

Despite retiring from her professional dancing career these days, she keeps busy with numerous TV appearances, modelling gigs, tracking and book releases.

She was also made a Dame in the 2017 New Year's Honours list.

But let's take a closer look inside her life…

Strictly exit

The star spent six years judging the moves of some of the UK's biggest celebs on BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

However, in 2019, she suddenly quit the show which caught producers by surprise.

Darcey revealed she wanted to "give more focus to my many other commitments in dance" and not "because of any upset or disagreement at all."

But according to The Sun, Darcey left because Strictly’s new bosses wanted the judges to perform on the show, but Darcey preferred to "leave the dancing to the celebrities".

At the time Shirley Ballas commented: “I do know that the BBC wanted the professionals to do a little bit more dancing.

“I don’t know whether it was uncomfortable, or did she want to do it, or didn’t she want to do it?

“I was all up for it because I think, ‘you’re older but you’re not dead and you can still do a bit’.

“You can’t do what those professionals do by any means, but you can get out there and show the public that you can still move.”

Real name

Darcey was born on April 27, 1969, in London, however, she wasn't named Darcey on arrival.

Her parents, John Crittle and Andrea Williams, actually called their daughter Marnie Mercedes Darcey Pemberton Crittle.

Though as her career as a superstar dancer took off, she opted for a simpler stage name instead, which many fans are completely unaware of.

Married life

Darcey is married to Australian businessman Angus Forbes, who is the co-founder of a privately owned global funds management organisation which is based in Sydney.

The couple tied the knot in Cherwell, Oxfordshire, back in 1997.

The pair have since lived in Kensington, where their two daughters were born in 2001 and 2004.

The family moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2008 but returned to London in July 2012.

Darcey prefers to keep her private life private and doesn't often open up about her relationship or family life to the press.

Piers Morgan run-in

Soon after the Dame declared her Strictly exit, she appeared on Good Morning Britain to plug a dance competition she was working on.

However, cheeky GMB host Piers Morgan wanted to get some Strictly gossip out of her and pried on her TV departure.

But defiant Darcey refused to address the matter to both Piers and co-host Susanna Reid and bluntly declined to comment.

At the time of filming, she was at a dance workout at the Royal Hospital Chelsea which she had helped to organise to celebrate National Fitness Day.

But as the hosts continued to dig into Darcey's affairs, she shut them down during a very awkward exchange.

Politely asking Darcey about the on-air Strictly series at the time, Susanne said: “Have you watched since or is it too hard?”

But Darcey clapped back: “Been too busy doing National Fitness Day! I keep myself incredibly busy now.”

Piers then mentioned how the ratings for the show had plummeted, saying: “Strictly ratings have collapsed.”

But Darcey just reiterated her National Fitness Day point and refused to comment on the show.

She bit back: “I’m not here, Piers, to talk about Strictly I’m here to talk about National Fitness Day. And being active."

Piers then brought the interview to an end and cheekily said: "And don't mention Strictly. See you, Darcey."

After Darcey was cut off-camera, Piers then addressed the tense conversation and added: “Wow, did not want to talk about Strictly. Didn’t want to go there."

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