Where is Zoe Ball and why isn't she presenting Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two?

Strictly Come Dancing’s return to British screens has been accompanied by its spin-off, It Takes Two – but where is English TV presenter Zoe Ball?

Here's why British TV and radio presenter Zoe Ball isn't on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two. (Image credit: Getty Images)

The BBC dance show, Strictly Come Dancing, has sprung back into life for 2021 with its usual plethora of big celebrity names, sequins and drama.

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With fans already settling into the latest series of Strictly and watching the stars foxtrot, many have been confused by the absence of presenter Zoe Ball on the show dedicated to a weekday fix of Strictly Come Dancing action, It Takes Two.

Zoe Ball has been the presenter of the spin-off for a whole decade – but where is she now and why isn’t she currently presenting It Takes Two?

Here’s what you need to know.

Who is Zoe Ball?

58-year-old Zoe Ball appeared on BBC Strictly Come Dancing in 2005 with partner Ian Waite and replaced Claudia Winkelman as presenter of It Takes Two in 2011.

Ball became the first woman to present the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show after presenting British children’s TV programme Live & Kicking from 1996 to 1999 along with Jamie Theakston.

It was revealed in 2020 that Ball's salary as a BBC presenter was between £1,360,000 and £1,364,999 for 2019 to 2020.

Why is Zoe Ball not on Strictly’s It Takes Two?

In May 2021, Zoe Ball announced that she would be leaving Strictly Come Dancing spin-off It Takes Two.

The TV presenter, 50, has fronted the BBC Two show for a decade but said she will be watching the next series from her sofa.

Her It Takes Two co-star, Ian Waite, also announced his departure.

In an Instagram post from May, Ball said: "Dance lovers, after 10 joyous years I am waltzing away from It Takes Two.

"As a massive @bbcstrictly fan I have loved spending my Autumn teatimes with the celebrity dancers, the gorgeous & awesome pro dancers, the judges, my girl Vicky Gill, Rylan, Gethin & of course my main man Ian Waite.

"Time now for some new cha cha challenges. I will continue to support the Strictly family on the Breakfast Show & can't wait to watch the Class Of 2021 from my sofa."

Ball, who replaced Claudia Winkleman in 2011, thanked those who work on Strictly and It Takes Two, adding: "I will miss you all immensely. As Iveta would say 'Friends for the life' xx."

Waite had been Ball's professional partner when she was a contestant on Strictly in 2005.

Announcing he was leaving It Takes Two, he said he was taking time to focus on his dance fitness brand.

Waite added: "This journey would not have been possible without the one and only Zoe Ball who has been the most loyal, loving, caring friend one could wish to have. I will miss you the most but know that we will still see each other a lot in the future."

Who is replacing Zoe Ball on It Takes Two?

Ball’s departure came after Rylan Clark-Neal joined the It Takes Two hosting line-up last year.

Rylan is currently presenting It Takes Two with American professional dancer Janette Manrara.

She was among the Strictly stars who congratulated Zoe Ball on hearing her plans to retire from the show.

In May, Manrara said: "Oh @zoetheball!! I looked forward to our chats on that couch more then any other part of the week! You really are a diamond of a human being and deserve all of the wonderful things that are coming your way! Although you'll be missed, it's not 'goodbye', it's more of a 'see ya around'! Love you!"

Good Morning Britain newsreader Charlotte Hawkins appeared in the 15th series of Strictly and said: "Oh it won't be the same without you!!"

Joe Sugg, a finalist in series 16, commented: "Ah Zoe! You will be missed! You were a delight to work with and made my strictly experience that extra bit special thank you x."

Where is Zoe Ball now?

A veteran radio DJ and presenter, Zoe Ball is now presenting the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show, The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show.

It marks Ball’s second debut on a BBC prime time radio breakfast show, with her becoming the first woman to host the BBC Radio 2 show after taking on BBC Radio 1’s equivalent.

The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show airs every weekday at 6.30am on BBC Radio 2.

Additional reporting by PA Reporter Keiran Southern

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