Cherie Lunghi has made a surprise exit from Strictly Come Dancing after losing out to Lisa Snowdon in the dance-off.

The oldest female contestant – who had been tipped to reach the final at one point – got her marching orders despite receiving good reviews from the judges for her cha cha cha on Saturday night’s show.

However the verdict was not a unanimous one – after Craig Revel Horwood and Arlene Phillips both voted to save Lisa and Brendan, Bruno Tonioli opted to save Cherie and dance partner James Jordan. “They impressed me the most,” Bruno said, “especially with this performance.

That left Len Goodman with the casting vote – and he admitted he wasn’t happy about it.

“This is terrible,” Goodman said, “I feel as though I’m kicking someone off the show because sincerely neither should be going, but I have to base it on that last performance.”

Afterwards, Cherie said she had had a “wonderful experience” on the show. “It’s been a huge learning curve and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” she added.

And James Jordan also had some words for the public. “I think she had a lot more to show,” he said.

“This is supposed to be a dance contest…please people at home vote for the dancing otherwise a lot more people are going to be upset.”