The TV chef dedicated his dance to the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy

It was an emotional week two on Strictly Come Dancing after new head judge Shirley Ballas was left in tears following Simon Rimmer’s emotional dance to You’ll Never Walk Alone.

The Sunday Brunch presenter dedicated the powerful Waltz to victims of the Hillsborough tragedy – which he watched first-hand in 1989 – where 96 people lost their lives during an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

But while Simon, 54, admitted he made some mistakes during the performance with his professional partner Karen Clifton, judge Shirley struggled to hold back tears following the moving routine.

Leaping out of her seat to give the chef a well earned kiss, Shirley announced: “I’m not going to go with the technical. I’m going to go with the emotional feeling. It’s a very special piece of music you danced to today.”

Tearing up, she continued: “You danced to a very important piece of music and that piece of music means so much to so many people for so many reasons.”

And despite his unfortunate mishap, even harsh critic Craig Revel Horwood couldn’t help but praise Simon.

“It’s a real shame as it did show a lot of promise and I really feel for you. I think you’re concentrating a little too much on the technical side of it but bravo,” he told the star.

Darcey Bussell then added: “You were strong, an elegant gentleman, the intent and focus was all there. The emotion, I think, came over you and I felt that.”

After landing himself at the bottom of the leaderboard last Saturday with 17 points, the poignant dance earned Simon and partner Karen a good score of 19 – with the highest score of six coming from Shirley.

But despite the positive comments, Simon wasn’t best pleased with his performance as he later told Strictly host Claudia Winkleman that he felt he’d “let Karen down”.

Fingers crossed Simon makes it through the first elimination which is set to air on Sunday night at at 7.15pm on BBC One!

Naomi Bartram