Actress and model Kelly Brook has pulled out of Strictly Come Dancing following the death of her father on Monday.

Kelly was determined to continue with rehearsals for Saturday’s live show in his memory, but found it ‘too difficult’, said a BBC spokeswoman.

Kelly’s father, Kenneth, passed away following a long battle with cancer.

“Kelly has been a fantastic part of the programme and will be sorely missed by everyone on the show,” she added.

The spokeswoman also said that the programme’s other participants ‘would also like to express their deepest sympathy to Kelly and her family at this difficult time’.

Kelly and professional dance partner Brendan Cole had been among the favourites to win the show.

On last Saturday’s show, Kelly and Brendan’s performance was panned by the judges, who said the pair had not performed to their usual high standard.

The couple ended up in the dance-off alongside former England footballer John Barnes and his partner Nicole Cutler – but were saved by the judges.

Bookmakers Sky Bet have agreed to refund all bets placed on Kelly and Brendan to win the contest.

Sky Bet’s Helen Jacob said: “Kelly has been the star of the show and well backed by punters and so it is only fair that we refund all the bets.”

Singer Alesha Dixon, actress Letitia Dean, former rugby star Kenny Logan, Blue Peter host Gethin Jones and EastEnders actor Matt D’Angelo are still in the competition.

Saturday’s show is the first time the remaining couples will perform two dances.

The grand final of the show, which takes place on 22 December, will now feature two couples instead of the traditional three.