Carol Kirkwood was finally blown off course tonight when she and partner Pasha Kovalev lost to Kellie Bright and Kevin Clifton in the Strictly dance-off. 

The 53-year-old was bottom of the leaderboard last night after her American Smooth failed to impress the judges. Bruno had called it “a bumper-car ride” and Len suggested Carol needed to start from scratch, beginning with the footwork. 

Truth be told, the popular Scottish weather presenter has been in stormy seas from the off, largely being kept afloat by viewers’ votes. She was languishing at the bottom of the leaderboard last week with her rumba and was lucky to escape the dance-off then.

“It was coming,” Carol said after her name was called, “but Strictly’s been brilliant and it’s a pleasure to dance again.” In a surprise move, Craig admitted he’d been “horrible” about Carol’s dancing, especially as she was “so lovely backstage, especially in the BBC bar”.

Lovely Carol thanked everyone, make-up, crew, judges, her fellow competitors, but especially Pasha, “a gentleman and a gentle man”. He, meanwhile said he “couldn’t believe that anyone could be as nice as Carol had been.”



More shocking was the fact that joining Carol in the dance-off was award-winning actress Kellie, who plays Linda Carter in EastEnders. There was an audible gasp of shock when her name was called out by Tess, but she insisted “she’d do her best and try not to wobble”.

The actress’ waltz last night with partner Kevin had won her plaudits from the judges and an impressive 32 points and they seemed equally as bemused that she was in the dance-off. Indeed, Kellie’s performances over the weeks have been of a consistently high standard. The 39-year-old’s jive, back in the early days of week five, earned a high-kicking 35 points. Clearly no one is safe.

inger Jamelia, meanwhile, couldn’t have looked more relieved that she’d finally been given a week off from appearing in the dreaded dance-off (m
aybe the public do like you after all, Jamelia). Surely Strictly could have been kinder and called out her name in the first section of results, though. Mind you, Jamelia’s non-appearance in the drop zone does 
mean that head judge Len “won’t have to pickle his walnuts” now… Thank goodness for small mercies.

Strictly continues next Saturday on BBC1