AJ Odudu has announced that she will not be taking part in the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour, with former contestant Maisie Smith replacing her.

Smith, who was a finalist in the 2020 series, will perform with professional dancer Kai Widdrington, who was paired with Odudu during the 2021 series.

The duo will join series winners Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice, alongside Sara Davies and Aljaz Skorjanec, Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin, Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu, John Whaite and Johannes Radebe, and Max George and Katya Jones.

Odudu did make it to the final of the 2021 series with Widdrington, but had to pull out then due to suffering a torn ligament.

That injury has prevented her from then taking part in the tour.

In a statement Odudu 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.”

What did Maisie Smith have to say on this?

Speaking on her return to the live tour Smith 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.

“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.”

The live tour will kick off in Birmingham on January 20, before travelling to Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Glasgow and Nottingham. It will finish at London’s O2 Arena on February 13.