Will Young Karen Clifton Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing: Will Young and dance partner Karen Clifton Guy Levy/BBC

Anxiety was the reason for Will Young's shock Strictly Come Dancing exit, it has been revealed by a show insider.

The former Pop Idol winner opened up about his departure in a text message sent to Chris Evans during his BBC Radio 2 show. Young – who has suffered with depression and anxiety in the past – played down the exit and claimed it was "undramatic".

"Here's the thing. I'm absolutely dandy, thanks. It's all very undramatic really. I've done my statement and others can say what they want to say. I never read what they say anyhow," said Young.

"Will was suffering from anxiety all of last week and he told friends he wasn't feeling up to the show. He felt he was under intense scrutiny and wasn't taking it well," a source told The Mirror.

"Will is a deeply private person and has been out of the spotlight for a long time and he doesn't enjoy being the centre of attention. It all got too much."

The 37-year-old singer sensationally quit the show on Tuesday (11 October) for "personal reasons" and will no longer participate in the competition. Rumours emerged that it was due to his on-screen spat with head judge Len Goodman.

The judge – who will leave the show after this series – was less than impressed with Young's Bollywood-inspired salsa to Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny) from the film Slumdog Millionaire as part of Movie Week – telling him that the dance lacked traditional moves.

Young disagreed, claiming that the routine had plenty. Goodman went on to tell the singer to "show up, keep up and shut up," sparking an awkward atmosphere.

But a BBC insider denied the claims, stating: "Will leaving the show is nothing to do with the argument with Len. They actually had a laugh about the little on-screen altercation after the show. There is a great amount of mutual respect between the pair."

Young has previously battled mental health issues, spending six months at a residential trauma centre in Oxfordshire in 2012 following a breakdown. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, depersonalisation and derealisation (a loss of recognition and sense of context).

Strictly 2016
Will Young with his dance partner Karen Clifton Jay Brooks/ BBC/ PA

It has since been reported that Young's original pay cheque to star on the ballroom series of £25,000 has been slashed to just £5,000 after he broke his contract.

A show insider revealed to The Sun that BBC bosses have reduced his fee following his departure, which allegedly left his dance partner Karen Clifton "seething", according to the publication.

A show source said:"It became obvious that despite his huge dance background he was never going to be a contender because there are so many better celebs. The few previous contestants to go have quit because they're injured or a family member has died – not because they feel they can't win."

IBTimes UK has contacted Young's rep for further comment.