Dan Walker ‘gutted’ as Strictly’s Nadiya Bychkova without partner as ‘she towered over the men’

This year's Strictly Come Dancing pairings have been unveiled, with professional dancer Nadiya Bychkova surprisingly being left out of the line-up.

Nadiya, 34, joined the show back in 2014 and has danced with the likes of Matt Goss, David James, Lee Ryan and Dan Walker over the years, however this year she won't be competing for the Glitterball trophy and will only be taking part in the group numbers.

It has now been reported that the decision to leave Nadiya out of the Strictly main line-up was due to her height and her "lack of chemistry" with the male celebrities.

According to reports, Nadiya, who is 5ft 8in, "towered over seven out of the eight male celebrities" in this year's line-up, leaving EastEnders star Bobby Brazier, who stands at 6ft 2in, as the only contestant suitable for her to be paired with.

A source told The Sun that bosses decided this wouldn't work, adding that they: "felt there was something odd about the fact that the particularly fresh-faced Bobby only turned 20 this summer, while Nadiya is a mature woman."

OK! has contacted representatives for Strictly Come Dancing and Nadiya Bychkova.

Strictly fans were shocked to find out Nadiya hadn't been partnered with a celebrity, with many taking to social media to vent their frustrations.

"Not giving Nadiya a partner? Strictly, you’re dead to me this year" and "Shocking! She is immensely talented not to mention breathtaking," read two responses.

Nadiya's 2022 partner, Dan Walker, also expressed his upset online, saying he was "gutted" to find out his former dance partner wouldn't be competing on the show.

"All the pros are great but gutted to hear that @nadiyabychkova hasn’t got a partner. I’m sure she’s still looking forward to being part of the biggest show on TV. But it feels like putting [Lionel] Messi on the bench for the World Cup final!" the journalist wrote on Twitter.

Tonight's pre-recorded launch show saw the 15 celebrity contestants find out the professional partner that they would be training and performing with on the show.

EastEnders actor Bobby was partnered with Dianne Buswell and viewers saw Dianne meet Bobby, who plays Freddie Slater on the BBC soap, on the set of EastEnders. Casualty star Nigel Harman was paired with Katya Jones, Layton Williams with Nikita Kuzmin and Angela Rippon with Kai Widdrington.

Former Coronation Street star Ellie Leach was partnered with Vito Coppola, while tennis star Annabel Croft with Johannes Radebe. Annabel said it was “incredible” to be paired with Johannes, and said she wished that the dancer could have met her late husband Mel Coleman.

Comedian Eddie Kadi was partnered with Karen Hauer, while Waterloo Road star Adam Thomas was teamed with Luba Mushtuk.

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