Page last updated at 22:22 GMT, Saturday, 28 November 2009

Natalie Cassidy eliminated from Strictly Come Dancing

Natalie Cassidy
Natalie Cassidy was given an ovation by the studio audience

Natalie Cassidy and dance partner Vincent Simone have been eliminated from BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing.

They were up against Ricky Whittle and his partner Natalie Lowe in the dance-off, with Whittle taking to the floor a day after being arrested in Liverpool.

The 29-year-old Hollyoaks actor was bailed over an alleged assault on a photographer in the city centre.

EastEnders actress Cassidy was given a standing ovation from the audience as she and Simone were voted off.

Whittle was held in custody in Duke Street in the early hours of Friday morning and released on bail that afternoon.

His arrest followed a collision between a car and a male pedestrian, who is a photographer.

Judges' criticism

Before Saturday's show, bookmakers had ranked Whittle as odds-on favourite to win the contest.

But he and Lowe received their lowest score of the competition for their rock and roll dance, with 31 out of a possible 40.

The show's judges did not mention his arrest, but Alesha Dixon branded one of his dances as "a bit lacklustre" and Craig Revel Horwood said it was "really off balance at the end, OK but it lacked kerpow".

Despite carrying an injury, Ali Bastian, an actress in The Bill, performed a Charleston that was well received by the judges.

She had twisted her ankle during rehearsals but stated that she wished to continue.

Head judge Len Goodman said: "I thought you only did elegant but you came out here, shook it all round, cocked your leg up. It was great."

Athlete Jade Johnson has already had to pull out of the competition due to a knee injury sustained during a dress rehearsal two weeks ago.

Apart from Whittle and Bastian, the remaining contestants are BBC sports presenter Chris Hollins and Laila Rouass, an actress from Footballers' Wives.



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SEE ALSO
Police bail Strictly's Whittle
27 Nov 09 |  Merseyside
Strictly star race taunt victim
07 Oct 09 |  Northern Ireland

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