Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips unleashed a fresh attack on contestant John Sergeant, claiming that instead of rehearsing he ‘sits and reads the Guardian’.

Arlene, who has been a fierce critic of Sergeant’s performances, told BBC Breakfast News: “There is nothing that is correct about his performance.”

“His posture’s wrong, his feet are turned in, he hasn’t got the rise and fall, his head’s on one side.

“In terms of dance everything is wrong with it.”

Veteran broadcaster John, 64, came bottom of the score table for the third week in a row with dance partner Kristina Rihanoff, but the pair were again saved by the public vote.

Actress Cherie Lunghi, a talented dancer was voted in the bottom two and left the show, much to the annoyance of the judges.

Arlene said: “When the performers and celebrities put hours in the studio they are constantly working. They do not sit down, and I know with John he sits and reads the Guardian. I think a lot of the time he and his partner spend fooling around. I hope this does not go on to the final.”

“We’ve never had anyone this bad who has gone this far. It is a little bit disheartening when the public are voting for a non-dancing Mickey Rooney.”

A string of groups have been set up on social networking website Facebook in support of John, who is as low as 16-1 with some bookmakers to win the competition, but Arlene, 64, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “I personally would like to see him off the show. I would be desolate if he won.”