DAN Walker says his body has “given up” following his exit from Strictly Come Dancing.

The BBC Breakfast presenter has presented the morning news show for the first time since his elimination from the competition on Sunday night, admitting he had felt “closed off” from dancing for many years.

He and his professional partner Nadiya Bychkova missed out on a spot in this week’s semi-final after losing the dance-off to AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington.

The 44-year-old, who grew up in Crawley, said on BBC Breakfast: “We get to see people at the very top of their games in sport and in all sorts of areas of life.

“I had no appreciation of how good pro dancers were until I saw it up close and personal and started trying to learn it myself.

“They’re just so good at what they do. I appreciate what dancing is all about now and for many years. I felt closed off from that world.”

Dan said he “loved every second of the Strictly experience but “need a rest now”.

“My body’s given up,” he said. “It lasted eight weeks – a lot longer than I thought it would – but it’s been great.

“It’s an entertainment programme, isn’t it, and I told Nadiya the first day we started ‘I want you to enjoy this as much as I will and I will love every second of it’, and I have.”

The Argus: Dan Walker (right) and Nadiya BychkovaDan Walker (right) and Nadiya Bychkova

The pair are due to appear on Strictly spin-off It Takes Two on Monday night.

Dan said it had been a “privilege” to be part of the competition, and thanked viewers for the support they gave.

“I know there’s some people that get angry every week that we managed to stay in, but the overwhelming love and the lovely comments have far outweighed all of that,” he said.

“I think the right people are in the semi-finals, the best four dancers in the competition. My time had come to an end, there’s no way I could compete.

“But to get to the quarter-finals of Strictly having never danced before when I started is amazing and that’s all down to Nadiya, who is just brilliant.

“I feel that it’s always been a privilege to be part of the biggest show on telly, other than BBC Breakfast of course.”

Four couples – AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington, Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice, John Whaite and Johannes Radebe and Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu – remain in the competition for the semi-finals

The Strictly Come Dancing semi-final airs on December 11 at 7.05pm, with the results show on December 12 at 7.20pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.