He survived the skate-off twice – but Ellery Hanley’s luck finally ran out when he became the latest casualty of Dancing on Ice 2009 on Sunday.

The rugby star lost out this time after finishing in the bottom two with Melinda Messenger – and came a cropper when he slipped over midway through reprising his routine on the 80s themed show.

In the end, four out of the five judges voted to save Melinda, with only Nicky Slater opting to save Ellery.

However, he remained humble and was quick to praise Melinda for her performance. “I have to congratulate her for a wonderful skate tonight,” he said afterwards.

And the talkative star had plenty of people to thank before he hung up his skates for good.

“I just want to say thank you to everybody, all my competitors,every one of them there right now deserve their spot,” he said. “And also to two wonderful people in Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, absolutely delightful, wonderful human beings.

He also praised his skating partner Frankie Poulteney, describing her as “absolutely lovely. She will be my lifelong friend,” he told Philip Schofield.

Seven celebrities now remain to battle it out on the ice – with Ray Quinn, who scored full marks from the judges on Sunday’s show, the favourite to win the series.