Zoe Ball's Strictly exit—why the star quit It Takes Two

Zoe Ball has been notably absent as Strictly comes back in full throttle, so where is the star?

Zoe Ball
(Image credit: Samir Hussein / Stringer / Getty Images)

Strictly Come Dancing is once again back on our screens after a long wait. However, Zoe Ball has been missing from Strictly: It Takes Two, so why did the star quit the show?

Strictly Come Dancing's launch show debuted on Saturday, September 18, 2021, and fans have been loving the latest series. This year, the pandemic has caused havoc already on the set as Tom Fletcher and his professional partner have tested positive for COVID-19

To unpack all of these events is the Strictly Come Dancing spin-off show, fans often hop on over to It Takes Two. The show has been hosted by Zoe since 2011, and in 2020 Zoe co-hosted with Rylan Clarke-Neal. 

In the show, the hosts usually talk to the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 couples and get all the backstage gossip and training footage of the couples practicing their routines.

However, this year the show must go on without her as Zoe has quit It Takes Two after nearly 10 years of hosting and has been replaced by Janette Manrara.

Why did Zoe Ball leave Strictly It Takes Two?

Zoe announced earlier this year on Instagram that she would not be returning as a host for Strictly Come Dancings: It Takes Two.

The star said in a post, "Dance lovers, after 10 joyous years I am waltzing away from It Takes Two." She primarily stated in the post that this was because she thought it was, "Time now for some new cha cha challenges."

Zoe also announced around the time on her BBC Radio 2 Breakfast show, "I had to say it was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, walking away from it.”

"I love that show, you know how obsessed I am with Strictly. But after 10 years, sometimes you’ve got to give yourself some new challenges."

Did Zoe Ball win Strictly?

No, sadly Zoe has not ever won Strictly Come Dancing, but she did compete in the show. Zoe participated in the third season of Strictly in 2005. Zoe was partnered with Ian Waite and the pair ranked third in the competition.

Ian Waite was a professional dancer in Strictly Come Dancing from 2005 until 2009. Ian also participated in Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two from 2010 until 2020. 

Where is Zoe Ball now, and what is she doing next?

Zoe currently hosts her own show on BBC Radio 2 called The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, which first began airing on 14 January 2019. 

Zoe also still participates in other TV shows such as Celebrity Gogglebox, so she may be cropping up on that show from time to time. 

Who is replacing Zoe Ball on Strictly It Takes Two?

Zoe has been replaced on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two by Janette Manrara.

Janette is a professional dancer who worked on Strictly Come Dancing from Season 11 in 2013 until Season 18 in 2020.

In June 2021 on BBC's The One Show, it was announced that Janette would be taking over from Zoe and co-hosting with Rylan.

See more

Why did Janette Manrara leave Strictly Come Dancing? 

Janette her role as a professional on Strictly Come Dancing in order to start a family with her fellow professional dancer husband, Aljaž Škorjanec.  

"Starting a family is something we have been talking about for a while now and dancing was something I really had to think about when it came to making any kind of decision," said Janette to Hello!

"The level of pressure that comes with being a professional on Strictly has now been lifted from my life, so I feel like I can breathe now when it comes to starting a family. We definitely want to be parents and this has given us an opportunity to really take a look at that part of our lives and see what we can do moving forward. " 

Janette added that her new role feels like the ideal next step in her career, "It feels like the most perfect next step in my life but it's bittersweet because it means that I'm not going to be doing Strictly anymore and I cried a lot."

Laura Harman

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.

Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.