Singer Will Young has quit Strictly Come Dancing, citing “personal reasons” for his departure.

The singer, who took to the show, released a statement saying he was sad to be leaving the show.

Will Young

He said: “To be a part of Strictly has been a long time ambition of mine. As a performer, a viewer, and a fan of the show, to dance as a contestant was an experience I always hoped for.

“I have made some great friends, and am in awe of their performances week in, week out. I have found a creative partnership with Karen that has been the most wonderful thing to experience.

“I will be eternally grateful to her for her direction, talent and guiding me through three wonderful dances that I will be able to show my grandkids in years to come.

“Unfortunately, I am leaving the show for personal reasons. I leave with joy in my heart that I have been able to take part in one of the most loved shows on British television.

“I am so grateful to everyone who works on Strictly from the lighting designer to catering to the production team. Strictly truly is the most unique family and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

“And finally thank you to the BBC for supporting me throughout my journey. I wish my compatriots so much luck, and although I am back to being a viewer again, I’m certainly going to ‘keeeep dancing’!”

The star, who is openly gay, was paired with opposite-sex dance partners, despite some speculation that he might have a male partner.

Fans had speculated whether the singer could be paired with a same-sex dancing partner, after Judge Craig Revel Horwood had hinted that changes will take place.

But the BBC confirmed that Young would be paired with a female professional dance partner.

A statement said: “The show has chosen the traditional Latin and Ballroom format of mixed-sex couples.”

Judge Craig Revel Horwood last year conceded: “I was rather hoping for a same sex couple – I doubt that it’ll happen this year.

“But I’d love it to happen because that might put a spanner in the works.”

Former Strictly star James Jordan claimed that it would be “wrong” to feature same-sex dance couples on the show.

He insisted: “It’s wrong. I think they would lose so many viewers.

“I have nothing against same-sex couples, if they want to go and do their own competitions.

“But ballroom and Latin dancing is about a man dancing with a woman – that’s fact.

“It annoys me that people like Craig can say this because he’s gay. That’s the only reason he’s pushing it.”