AJ Pritchard wants to be the ‘next Ant and Dec’ with brother Curtis after quitting Strictly Come Dancing

AJ Pritchard shocked the nation on Thursday 26 March when he announced he would be stepping down from his role on Strictly Come Dancing.

Now the 25 year old has revealed the real reason behind his shock decision as he explained that he actually wants to move on to becoming the "new Ant and Dec" double act presenters with his brother Curtis, 24.

Having already spoken to his Love Island star brother, AJ said: "We would love to be that presenting duo, like them. We want to bring our brand — that all-singing, all-dancing Saturday night style of family entertainment, a bit like Bruce Forsyth."

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The pro dancer explained that he wants to "have his own brand", which is something he wasn't able to do with the gruelling 18 hour days on the show.

He said: "It took up six months of my life, some days I would work 18-hour days because I was dancing and choreographing. I didn’t have a life and I wanted to be able to do more.

"I want to show people what I’m about — not just, 'Here’s my celebrity partner this year that I’m going to showcase.'"

AJ, who recently showed his support to his brother after Curtis and Maura broke up, also said that he's had to turn down potential jobs and projects in the past because of his tight schedule on the popular BBC One show.

He continued: "I did have to turn down things in the past, which I was upset about sometimes, but I understood I was part of Strictly Come Dancing. Now I am going to pursue things I didn’t have the time for. It’s the right move.

"It’s a relief to finally quit. If I didn’t further my development now, while at my peak mental well-being, I would regret it."

AJ has spent the last four years on Strictly Come Dancing, partnering with the likes of Olympic artistic gymnast Claudia Fragapane, 22, ex-Saturdays singer Mollie King, 32, British Paralympic athlete Lauren Steadman, 27, and most recently YouTube sensation 25 year old Saffron Barker.

While he's "loved the series" AJ told The Sun that he doesn't want to do the same thing over and over again "until it felt like it was too much for me."

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He explained: "I would rather have great memories. If I do the same thing each year, that feels like I am sat on a shelf, and mentally that wouldn’t be wise.

"Some people may think I’m crazy leaving the biggest show on TV.

"I could have stuck with it for the rest of my working life, but it’s not what I wanted."

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