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Last Updated: Friday, 20 October 2006, 10:14 GMT 11:14 UK
Tarbuck pulls out of dance show
Jimmy Tarbuck and Flavia Cacace
Two pairs have so far been voted off the show
Entertainer Jimmy Tarbuck has pulled out of the BBC One series Strictly Come Dancing for health reasons.

This follows the 66-year-old's failure to appear on last Saturday's programme after being diagnosed with high blood pressure and being advised to rest.

"I'm absolutely devastated that I can no longer take part," Tarbuck said.

He had been appearing alongside professional dancer Flavia Cacace on the programme. Eleven couples will continue to battle it out on the show.

A BBC statement said: "Following a doctor's assessment this week, Jimmy, the doctors and the BBC have come to the decision that for the good of Jimmy's health he should no longer take part."

'Old carthorse'

Tarbuck said he wanted to return to the show but had to accept doctors' advice.

He added: "I will continue to enjoy watching the show and will be there in person on Saturday to see how my fellow contestants are shaping up now their hottest competition is out of the way."

He praised his partner's patience "in trying to turn this old carthorse into a proper dancer".

Tarbuck launched his career at Pwllheli holiday camp in North Wales in the 1950s, and made his TV debut in 1963, becoming a familiar face thanks to a string of variety and stand-up series.

Strictly Come Dancing, now in its fourth series, sees 14 celebrities paired with professional dancers, with viewers voting for their favourites.

Hosted by Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly, other celebrity contestants include former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, singer Emma Bunton, cricketer Mark Ramprakash and EastEnders actress Louisa Lytton.

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