Strictly: Lynda Bellingham gets the boot

Actress Lynda Bellingham has become the fourth casualty of Strictly Come Dancing 2009 after losing out to Craig Kelly in the dance-off.

The 61-year-old had survived last week’s dance off but this week her luck ran out after both she and Kelly had reprised their foxtrots, and the judges voted to save the Coronation Street star.

However it was a close run thing after she and professional partner Darren Bennett received the first two judges votes, from Craig Revel Horwood and Alesha Dixon.

“This is a tough one for me,” Craig told them, “but I’m going for the most confident couple tonight.”

Bruno then tipped the balance by voting to save Craig and partner Flavia Cacace, leaving Len Goodman with the casting vote.

And although he admitted it was a “difficult decision,”, he voted to save Craig and Flavia.

Afterwards, Lynda said she had had a “brilliant” time on the show and praised Bennett, saying he had been “absolutely fantastic”.

Earlier in the show the actress had received some of her best reviews from the judges for her foxtrot.

“I think that was simple and effective,” Len Goodman told her. “If that was a coffee it would be a latte, smooth and creamy.”

Craig, however, received a mixed response for his foxtrot.

“For me it was not great,” Craig Revel Horwood told him, but Len Goodman said it was a “gallant effort for a very difficult dance”.

Elsewhere in the competition there was praise for Zoe Lucker and James, who kicked off the show with a foxtrot.

“This was a foxtrot glistening with glamour,” Bruno Tonioli told the Footballers Wives star. And her co-star Laila Rouass and partner Anton Du Beke also wowed the judges. “Best foxtrot of the night so far,” Alesha Dixon said.

However current series favourite Ricky Whittle didn’t fare as well as in previous weeks, with Dixon describing his salsa as “slightly under-rehearsed”. And while Jo Wood and Joe Calzaghe were once again at the bottom of the judges scoreboard, BBC Breakfast’s Chris Hollins also had a rough ride with his salsa.

“For me it lacked the required energy,” Craig told him, while Bruno said that he “was dancing like Bob The Builder”.

Next week sees the remaining 12 couples perform either a Viennese Waltz or a Jive in a bid to stay in the competition.