Chris Hollins has been crowned champion of Strictly Come Dancing 2009, after fighting off stiff competition from fellow finalist Ricky Whittle.

The BBC Breakfast sports presenter had started the final as the underdog, while Hollyoaks star Whittle had been the bookies’ favourite – but a close final, in which both celebrities performed four routines each, eventually saw him win the coveted Glitterball Trophy.

The 38-year-old looked disbelieving as he was named the series winner, while his dance partner Ola Jordan burst into tears upon hearing the news.

And Hollins – who had become a favourite with the public during the series – paid tribute to the others involved in the show, including hosts Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly.

“I’d just like to thank everybody, especially you two,” he told Bruce, “and I’d love to thank all our family and friends, without you we wouldn’t have been able to do half the training.

And he had some special words of praise for Jordan. “I’ve got to say, Ola-chops, thank you so much for believing in me all along,” he said.

A tearful Jordan, meanwhile, said Hollins had been her “best” partner.

“You’ve been a dream to work with,” she said, “and that whole experience has been fantastic.”

Afterwards, Hollins told BBC News he was “in shock” at his victory.

“I’ve had a brilliant night, I’ve had a brilliant four months and now I’m Strictly Come Dancing champion,” he said. “I never thought I would say those words, I’m thrilled.”

Hollins had been one of the dark horses of the series, having been tipped to get the boot in the first week.

However he and Ola Jordan – or ‘Team Cola’ as their fans had affectionately dubbed them – became a favourite with the public, and they were the only couple this series who managed to avoid being in the dance-off.

Meanwhile runner-up Whittle – who had been one of the favourites throughout the series – took his defeat graciously.

“I’ve had an absolutely amazing time,” he said, “and I’d like to thank all my supporters for getting me this far in the competition.”

Saturday’s final was split into two parts, with both couples performing a ballroom routine as well as jointly performing a Lindy Hop.

The first half of the show saw both finalists win praise for the judges with Whittle scoring 50 out of 50 for his quickstep – however Hollins triumphed in the second half of the show, also scoring a full house for his Charleston with Jordan.

“You transported me to the golden era of the movies,” Darcey Bussell told the pair, while Craig Revel Horwood made a pointed reference to Hollins’ now infamous facial expressions. “Your mouth being open so wide really did suit that whole thing,” he said.

Whittle also did well in the second half with a cha cha cha which Alesha Dixon called “one of the best dances I’ve ever seen on Strictly” – however he narrowly missed out on a second full house from the judges.

Both couples also performed a freestyle “show dance”, and won further raves from the judges.

Len Goodman praised Hollins for “really giving it 100 per cent” following his routine, while he told Whittle “even if you don’t win, you can go away knowing you’re the best dancer”.

The show also saw the other celebrities from this year’s series returning to the dancefloor – all except for Phil Tufnell, who was ill.

However Jade Johnson, who had to pull out of the series due to injury, did come back, and finally had the chance to perform the tango that she had been rehearsing at the time of her accident.