Former England footballer Graeme Le Saux has become the first casualty of Dancing On Ice 2009 after losing to Donal McIntyre in the skate-off.

Le Saux and skating partner Kristina Lenko had to skate again in an effort to stay in the competition, following the public vote. However the five judges voted unanimously to save investigative reporter Donal – but admitted it was a tough decision.

“It’s so hard to do this,” Karen Barber told the pair, “You’ve both improved so much, but tonight I have to save Donal.”

Nicky Slater also voted for Donal, despite saying he would like to see both of them stay in the competition, while Jason Gardiner sealed the deal.

“Both of you have a lot wrong with you,” he said, “but in this skate-off Donal was actually better.”

Graeme said afterwards he had “thoroughly enjoyed” his time on the show. “It was short but sweet,” he added, “and I’m going to miss the other guys because we built up a great team spirit.”

The first show of the series saw the seven male celebrity skaters taking to the ice, with the six female skaters taking their turn on next week’s show.

Former X Factor finalist Ray Quinn, TV presenter Michael Underwood, rugby star Ellery Hanley and actor Jeremy Edwards all made it through to the next round, as did Todd Carty despite receiving only 7.5 points out of 30 from the judges.