Page last updated at 22:47 GMT, Saturday, 19 December 2009

Hollins crowned Strictly Come Dancing champion


The moment Chris and Ola were crowned champions

Sports presenter Chris Hollins was the surprise winner of BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing, beating actor Ricky Whittle in a public vote in the final.

The BBC presenter had performed four dances with his professional partner, Ola Jordan.

After winning the glitterball prize, Hollins praised his opponents and thanked his supporters.

He told his tearful dancing partner: "Little Ola-chops, thank you so much for believing in me all the way along."

Jordan said: "You have been the best partner. You've been a dream to be working with."

Underdog Hollins had made it through to the final despite being told by the judges on previous shows that he danced with a "constipated" expression.

Chris Hollins and Ola Jordan
The judges often remarked on Hollins's facial expressions

Both couples in the final produced energetic final showdances which impressed the judges. Hollins, 38, ended his dance standing on the judges' table.

The judges' final scores gave Hollyoaks actor Whittle and his partner Natalie Lowe 190 points, and Hollins and Jordan 186 - but these did not affect the final result.

The show began with bookies' favourites Whittle and Lowe gaining a full set of top marks from the five judges for their quickstep.

Judge Darcey Bussell said they had "set the standard" for the grand final.

At the end of the first of the evening's two shows, Whittle led the judges' votes with 93 points to Hollins's 90.

Open mouth

Hollins and Jordan began with a foxtrot which scored them four nines and a 10 - their first in the competition.

Judge Bruno Tonioli told Jordan: "You've turned a frog into a prince."

Ricky Whittle with Natalie Lowe
Whittle plans to quit Hollyoaks next year for Hollywood

The final also featured the return of the athlete Jade Johnson, who had to withdraw last month due to a ligament injury during dance training.

The Great Britain long jumper performed a tango with dance partner Ian Waite.

Other previous contestants also had a turn on the dance floor, with the exception of Phil Tufnell who has flu.

Bruce Forsyth teamed up with judge Alesha Dixon to perform a duet of the Frank Sinatra standard Something's Gotta Give.

Hollins and Jordan began the results show with a Charleston which scored them a full set of 10s.

Judge Craig Revel Horwood told Hollins: "Your mouth being open so wide really did suit that whole thing."

Bussell said: "You transported me to the golden era of the movies."

This was the seventh series of Strictly Come Dancing. Previous winners include actor Tom Chambers, Alesha Dixon and Mark Ramprakash.

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