11 of the worst Strictly Come Dancing injuries

Jennifer Savin
·5-min read
Photo credit: Katie Wilde | Getty Images
Photo credit: Katie Wilde | Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

If there's one thing guaranteed to raise our spirits during the gloomier, winter months of the year it's Strictly Come Dancing (cue: the theme tune playing in your head for weeks on end too). While we're equally as obsessed with the glitzy costumes as we are with the scandals, the show certainly isn't all fun and games – there are risks that come with all that intense training the celebrities undertake in their quest for Glitterball trophy victory...

Over the years we've witnessed famous faces battling through everything from minor sprains, to injuries so severe they've had to drop out of the competition before it's even gotten off the ground (Jamie Laing, we see you).

Here, we've rounded up some of the most stand-out injuries from Strictly over the course of its sixteen-year history (seriously! Can you believe the show has been going on since 2004?). Prepare to wince...

1. Jamie Laing's foot injury (Series 17)

Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images
Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images

The Made In Chelsea cheeky chappie and McVitie's heir was forced to drop out of Season 17 before the competition had fully started, due to a foot injury sustained during a group dance featuring all the pro dancers and contestants. He landed awkwardly on his right foot and damaged his tendon. Ouch! Speaking after his exit, Jamie said, "It was like stepping on glass. I grabbed Oti and said, 'Something's happened, something has happened in my foot'." Luckily he was able to compete this year instead.

2. Jade Johnson (Series 7)

Photo credit: Tristan Fewings - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tristan Fewings - Getty Images

The Olympic long jumper's knee injury (she apparently heard it "pop" as she tried to stand up during rehearsals) was so severe that she had to withdraw from the programme. Three years down the line, Jade also said missed out on an opportunity to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games because of it. Speaking to the Sunday Mirror following the trials for the games, she said, "Strictly has cost me my place in the Olympics. I thought the show injury had healed and I was ready to compete, but sadly it flared up just before the trials and made it impossible to get through them."

3. Max George (Series 18)

Photo credit: Roberto Ricciuti - Getty Images
Photo credit: Roberto Ricciuti - Getty Images

Taking part in the most recent series, Max caused fans of the show to worry when he was pictured wearing a support brace on his right hand. Turns out, he'd sprained his wrist during a gym session. An insider told The Sun it wasn't likely to impact on his performance though, "Max sprained his wrist in the gym a few weeks ago, so it's just there for support while he trains."

4. Simon Rimmer (Series 15)


Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images
Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images

After taking a tumble during a dance-off, the Sunday Brunch chef damaged his thigh. Speaking about the injury to Zoe Ball on Strictly's spin off show, It Takes Two, after she pointed out his bandage, he said, "So that is from the slip, basically, I've got a bit of pain in my quad and my lovely Physio Doug has strapped me up to keep the muscle in place to hopefully heal it and sort itself out." He was eliminated fifth.

5. Laura Whitmore (Series 14)

Photo credit: Dave J Hogan - Getty Images
Photo credit: Dave J Hogan - Getty Images

An ankle injury caused the presenter to miss a performance. At the time, a spokesperson said, "Laura has been checked by a doctor and the medical team on site and they have advised that she rests her ankle and does not dance this weekend." She ended up leaving the show in week seven after a misstep saw her marked down by the judges.

6. Denise Van Outen (Series 10)

Photo credit: Tim Whitby - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim Whitby - Getty Images

Although the theatre star and presenter eventually made it to the final, at one point a physio said it was "touch and go" as to whether or not she'd be able to compete, after she picked up mild whiplash while rehearsing the jive. That's some serious moving and shaking.

7. Artem Chigvintsev (Series 9)

Photo credit: Bruce Glikas - Getty Images
Photo credit: Bruce Glikas - Getty Images

The pro dancer astounded viewers when it was revealed he'd continued dancing with partner Holly Valance... despite having damaged his spine. "Artem was initially diagnosed with a transverse process fracture of the lumbar spine," a Strictly Come Dancing spokesperson said. "However, the latest medical advice from a spinal specialist following further scans is that he is suffering with a combination of joint and soft tissue injury." Artem ended up taking a week off to recover, while Brendan Cole stepped in to dance with Holly, before re-donning his sequins and making it all the way to the semi-finals.

8. Ali Bastian (Series 7)

Photo credit: Shirlaine Forrest - Getty Images
Photo credit: Shirlaine Forrest - Getty Images

It was all going so well for former Hollyoaks actress Ali, until she bruised her foot following a fall in training. It was so bad she was left unable to walk and had to miss a performance. Her time off from practicing proved costly too, as she was eliminated in the following show (but still landed a very respectable third place overall).

9. Patrick Robinson (Series 11)

Photo credit: John Phillips - Getty Images
Photo credit: John Phillips - Getty Images

The Casualty actor had to tweak his routine after picking up a sprained wrist. He stepped onto the dance floor with a bandaged hand and still even managed to lift his partner, Anya Garnis, during their turn to impress – and it worked. Judge Len Goodman joked, "You should feel right at home, what with your wrist and being in Casualty. Patrick, you did a really good job under the terrible circumstances." He narrowly missed out on a place in the semi-finals.

10. Will Bayley (Series 17)

Photo credit: Mike Marsland - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mike Marsland - Getty Images

Sadly for the Paralympian, his knee injury was so serious he had to pull out of the show, much to his dismay. "I have a full tear of my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) not the best news," he wrote to fans on social media, adding that it was a "brilliant opportunity to work on other parts of my [table tennis] game I could improve".

11. Anastacia (Series 14)

Photo credit: Ben Pruchnie - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ben Pruchnie - Getty Images

The Left Outside Alone singer sadly had to pull out of a dance off with Melvin Odoom after ripping her mastectomy scars. Anastacia later shared her disappoinement at the dance off going to a public vote instead, "After that [the injury] I was unable to dance again and I was devastated that I couldn't take part in the Dance Off." She was eliminated fifth.

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