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Page last updated at 12:28 GMT, Monday, 25 October 2010 13:28 UK
Ann Widdecombe takes on the tango
By Jemima Laing
BBC Devon

Ann Widdecombe dances the tango on Strictly Come Dancing 2010
Ann overcame her phobia of heights to fly from the balcony

It's not something you see every day - Ann Widdecombe suspended from the ceiling of the Strictly studio.

But it was the unconventional start to Ann and dancing partner Anton du Beke's tango and is just the latest chapter in Ann's astonishing Strictly story.

And it's one which saw "Starship Widdecombe", as judge Bruno Tonioli dubbed her, once again through to next week.

And she promised more surprises when she spoke to BBC Radio Devon on Monday.

I've been called much worse than 'hippo'
Ann Widdecombe

Speaking to Good Morning Devon's Michael Chequer, Ann said she overcame her height phobia to fly from the balcony above the orchestra down on to the dance floor at the start of her dance on Saturday night.

Ann Widdecombe dances the tango on Strictly Come Dancing 2010
Judge Bruno Tonioli dubbed the former MP 'Starship Widdecombe'

And she said it was "heartwarming" that the audience appears to be enjoying the entertainment she is providing.

"They understand I don't dance," said Ann, 63, who lives on Dartmoor.

"But I do put a huge efforts into the entertainment factor."

She scored 21 points for her partially airborne tango - even achieving a 7 from judge Len Goodman - "I nearly fainted!" exclaimed Ann - and was second from bottom on the judges' leaderboard.

She was, once again, saved by the public vote.

So do some of the judges' comments, such as being compared to a hippo, hurt her feelings?

"No, of course it doesn't. I've throughout this said I'm the elephant and was cracking endless jokes about Dumbo when I finally flew."

"I've been called much worse than hippo I can tell you!"

She also agreed to let BBC Devon to come and watch her and dance partner Anton rehearse at the dance studio they are using in Newton Abbot.

"Come and watch the elephant dance!" she joked.

But she wouldn't give details of what she and Anton have in store for next week - when they tackle the paso doble - and beyond, should they remain in the competition.

"We do have one or two things still up our sleeves if we stay in!"

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Ann does the Widdecombe waltz
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In pictures: Ann Widdecombe on Strictly
22 Sep 10 |  People & Places
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