Strictly live tour 2022: AJ Odudu replaced by Eastenders star Maisie Smith for Sheffield Utilita Arena shows - but Dan Walker won't be there

Strictly Come Dancing 2020 finalist and former EastEnder Maisie Smith replaces injured AJ Odudu in the line-up for Strictly’s live tour, which comes to Sheffield.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 10:45 am

Strictly Come Dancing the Live Tour 2022 arrives at the Utilita Arena Sheffield on February 1 and 2. Tickets: www.utilitaarenasheffield.co.uk

Maisie, who will dance with Strictly pro Kai Widdrington, will replace AJ Odudu, who has had to withdraw from the tour on medical advice following an injury to her foot last December. AJ and Kai also missed the show’s final because of the TV presenter’s injury.

Maisie said: “I’m thrilled to be asked to restart my Strictly journey on this year’s arena tour. Kai and I will be dancing the quickstep and the samba – I can’t wait for rehearsals to start next week.

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Strictly Come Dancing 2022 Live Tour celebrities Tilly Ramsay, Max George, AJ Odudu, John Whaite, winner Rose Ayling-Ellis, Rhys Stephenson and Sara Davies. AJ has has now had to drop out doctor's advice and will be replaced by 2020 finalist Maisie Smith

“It will be a joy to dance with everyone and so great to see my EastEnders friend Rose again. I wish AJ a speedy recovery.”

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AJ said: “I’m devastated not to be able to take part in the Strictly tour due to injury. I had hoped for one last dance with Kai but I must obviously follow the medical advice.

"I wish my Strictly family the very best of luck on the road and I’ll definitely be there to cheer them on.”

Former EastEnders star Maisie Smith has stepped into the Strictly Come Dancing Live tour line-up after TV presenter AJ Odudu's injury that prevented her taking part in the 2021 show's final has now ruled her out of the live shows as well. Maisie is pictured with AJ's professional partner, Kai Widdrington

Maisie and Kai will join Strictly 2021 winners Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice, alongside Sara Davies and Aljaž Skorjanec, Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin, Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu, John Whaite and Johannes Radebe, and Max George and Katya Jones.

Sheffield TV presenter Dan Walker decided not to join the tour.