This is hardly a surprise. I couldn't imagine her giving birth to her third child in August and then doing a 5 nights a week show from mid September. I'm glad she's still going to be doing the results show on a Sunday evening, though.
It's telling that the quote from her in today's Mirror offers a glimmer of hope that she might come back in subsequent years.
“Everyone who watches Strictly knows how much I love the show and enjoy presenting It Takes Two.
“This year I’m dipping out, but can’t wait to watch it from the sofa.”Claudia's pretty much irreplaceable and I don't know how the BBC will do it. Names in the frame so far according to Twitter have been Kate Garraway, Kate Thornton and Miranda Hart. I think that it might be fun, if she is only going to be away for a year, to have guest presenters for a week at a time. I'm not sure there's a studio around that could contain Marian Keyes, but she'd be good. So would Pamela Stephenson. Even Widdy. For a few days she could be tolerable and quite fun. Camilla Dallerup or Matt Cutler could also do a stint.
Or, and this is controversial and Billi will kill me but what about giving the show to Anton Du Beke? Then we get to see him 5 days a week and he could still do show dances on a Saturday night. That might be the best way to carry on the Claudia tradition. Is there anything not to love about that idea?
There's also always the option of giving Alesha ITT and bringing Arlene back on to the judging panel, but I won't hold my breath on that one.