Strictly Come Dancing star fractures ankle in rehearsals
With Strictly Come Dancing set to return in a week, the celebrities and professional dancers are frantically stepping up their rehearsals.
As they prepare to debut their dance moves, some celebrities are clearly finding it easier than others to get to grips with the complicated steps - and one dancer has suffered a devastating injury following a mis-step by her celebrity partner.
Strictly favourite Alioni Vilani has fractured her ankle after 74-year-old Johnny Ball made a wrong turn during their routine.
Last night a friend of Miss Vilani told the MailOnline: “Aliona and Johnny were rehearsing today when Johnny pulled Aliona in the wrong direction and twisted her knee and right ankle - she immediately felt a pop in her leg.
“She was in terrible pain and couldn’t walk on the leg.
“She was rushed to the local hospital where she underwent an X-ray and has been banned from dancing until she can see a top consultant next week.
“She has been given a boot and a stick and told that she must rest up.’
The 28-year-old professional ballroom dancer reportedly has a hairline fracture to her ankle, which means she most certainly won't perform in Strictly’s first competitive show of 2012.
Although there is the possibility she could return in several weeks, Alioni may potentially have to sit out the entire competition.
Producers of the BBC show are reportedly now hastily looking to find a substitute dance partner for Mr Ball.
While children’s TV presenter Johnny is feeling incredibly guilty about the accident, Alioni - who won the series with Harry Judd last year - is said to be devastated and in tears.
At 74, Johnny is the oldest contestant Strictly has ever enlisted, with the previous title holder being 2010 competitor magician Paul Daniels, who was 72 when he joined the show.
Johnny follows in the ballroom dancing footsteps of daughter Zoe Ball, who finished third place on the show in 2005 and went on to host Strictly spin-off It Takes Two.
Even if they do manage to find a partner in time for Johnny, he faces tough competition from the younger contestants competing in 2012’s series of Strictly.
Olympians Victoria Pendleton and Louis Smith appear to be the early favourites, with Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh and West End performer Denise Van Outen expected to do very well in the ballroom battle.