Page last updated at 20:56 GMT, Sunday, 30 November 2008

TV's Bleakley performs last tango

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Christine Bleakley finds out her time on Strictly is over

The One Show presenter Christine Bleakley has become the latest contestant to leave BBC One talent show Strictly Come Dancing.

The 28-year-old found herself in a dance-off with singer Rachel Stevens after the show's public vote. All four judges voted to save Stevens.

After hearing the news, Bleakley admitted she had not expected to last so long in the contest.

"I thought I would go in the first week," she said.

"It's been absolutely incredible. I can't thank people enough for their support, in Northern Ireland and over here."

She added that she would miss dance partner Matthew Cutler "every day, more than anything."

'Limp'

It was the first time the Northern Irish presenter had found herself in the bottom two - but she had been bottom of the leader board after judges gave their scores on Saturday night, with just 58 out of a possible 80.

Christine Bleakley and Matthew Cutler
Bleakley peformed a tango and a salsa with dance partner Matthew Cutler

Bruno Tonioli said her tango, to Robert Palmer's Addicted To Love, was "a bit limp", while Arlene Phillips said a salsa, performed to Jamiroquai's Cosmic Girl, "lacked some hip action".

Stevens, on the other hand, had come third during the live show with 71 points.

Her first dance, a waltz, received a near-perfect 39 points, prompting Philips to comments: "That was one of the most soul-tingling waltz we have seen on Strictly".

Model and presenter Lisa Snowdon topped the leader board with 76 points.

The audience for Saturday night's show was 9.8 million, with a peak of 11.2 million viewers, according to provisional overnight figures.

The figure was half a million down on the number who tuned in last week when veteran broadcaster John Sergeant performed a farewell waltz after choosing to leave the show.



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SEE ALSO
Softly, softly to win strictly title
20 Nov 08 |  Northern Ireland
John Sergeant dances off Strictly
23 Nov 08 |  Entertainment
Strictly's Jodie jives off show
23 Nov 08 |  Entertainment
Sergeant quits Strictly contest
20 Nov 08 |  Entertainment

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