Professional dancer AJ Pritchard has quit BBC show Strictly Come Dancing after four years to become a TV presenter alongside his brother Curtis.
The 25-year-old took to Instagram on Thursday to share the news along with a gallery of pictures of his favourite moments on the show.
AJ wrote: ‘I have some news for you all. Please see the below statement from my team – also sending my love to everyone in this difficult time, please keep safe. AJ x.
No more: AJ Pritchard has quit Strictly Come Dancing to become a TV presenter alongside fellow professional dancer brother Curtis (pictured in 2019 with Saffron Barker)
Pastures new: He shared this explanation for his decision on social media on Thursday
‘After four years on Strictly Come Dancing, AJ has decided the time is right to leave the show and follow his dreams to explore opportunities in the presenting world alongside his brother Curtis.
‘AJ would like to thank the team at Strictly and everyone at the BBC for giving him such a brilliant opportunity.
‘AJ would also like to send his love and gratitude to all who have followed and supported his career.
Moving on: AJ and his brother Curtis (right) have both become household names – Curtis has appeared on Love Island and the Irish version of Dancing With The Stars (pictured March 12)
‘He is excited for you all to join him on the next chapter of his journey.’
AJ began his Strictly career in 2016 and reached thesemi-finals with Olympic gymnast Claudia Fragapane, 22.
The next year, he was coupled up with Saturdays singer Mollie King, 32, coming in fifth place.
He got the same result the year after with British Paralympic athlete Lauren Steadman, 27.
A look back: Alongside his announcement, AJ shared pictures of the celebrities he was partnered with – he began his Strictly career in 2016 and reached the semi-finals with gymnast Claudia Fragapane
Getting along nicely: The next year, he was coupled up with Saturdays singer Mollie King, 32, coming in fifth place
Pals: He got the same result the year after with British Paralympic athlete Lauren Steadman, 27
The last series of the show saw him partnered with YouTube star Saffron Barker – they came in sixth place.
Fellow professional dancer, Curtis, 24, who appeared on Love Island last year, most recently had a stint as the receptionist on The Greatest Dancer.
He has appeared on This Morning and also starred on the Irish version of Dancing With The Stars.
TV dreams: Curtis appeared in the fifth season of Love Island and coupled up with Maura Higgins (right) – they have since split
He’s all over the place: Little brother Curtis, (right) most recently had a stint as the receptionist on The Greatest Dancer
Both siblings have been open about wanting to work and perform together in the future, and Curtis had joined his brother on his ‘AJ Live’ tour before the remaining dates were postponed due to the current crisis.
In December 2018, AJ and Curtis were both attacked by a group of thugs in a nightclub.
Curtis, who was left with a severe knee injury, later said he believed the thugs responsible for the attack were ‘jealous’ of AJ for his celebrity status and good looks.
Curtis said: ‘I can only say perhaps it was jealousy, because AJ was doing a couple of photos with people. He’s a good looking lad. I was the one getting asked to take the photos, which is fine.’
AJ then added: ‘If someone comes up to me and asks me for a photo, if they do it politely, I’m always going to say yes. [This incident] has made me very aware of putting myself in a scenario of larger crowds.
Post-trauma: AJ and his brother appeared on This Morning in January 2019, days after they were attacked at a nightclub by a group of thugs
‘Obviously I’m doing the Strictly tour coming up and I will think twice…’
The pair were in their hometown of Nantwich, Cheshire when the incident took place – both spending the festive season at the family home when the attack took place.
Meanwhile, AJ’s announcement comes after former co-star Kevin Clifton also revealed his own departure from Strictly.
He previously said: ‘Since first being called Kevin From Grimsby by Sir Bruce Forsyth in 2013 I have experienced the highs of 5 finals, winning a Guinness World record on ‘It Takes Two’, the Strictly Arena tour glitterball and then the ultimate of winning the 2018 series with Stacey Dooley.
‘After finishing last series with the ‘Children In Need’ trophy and the Christmas Special I want to leave on a high and have therefore decided the time has come to move on and focus on other areas of my life and career.’
‘I want to leave on a high’: Kevin Clifton took to Instagram earlier this month to reveal he has QUIT Strictly after seven years on the show (pictured with girlfriend Stacey Dooley in 2018)