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Greg Rutherford 'gutted' by end of his run in Strictly

By Kerri-Ann Roper

Olympic long jumper Greg Rutherford said it is "horrible" to be bowing out of Strictly Come Dancing as he became the ninth celebrity to leave the show.

Rutherford and his professional partner Natalie Lowe ended up in the dance-off alongside gymnast Claudia Fragapane and her partner AJ Pritchard, but the judges opted to save Fragapane.

The champion sportsman and Lowe performed a quickstep at the Blackpool spectacular that earned them a score of 32 points.

Rutherford (30) said: "It's horrible, I mean it's something that completely engulfs your life and every aspect - I mean, I am training 10 to 12 hours a day - I have been putting all my heart and soul into it.

"Sadly for me it's finished now. I'm gutted. I spend all my time with Natalie at the moment, we have such a great partnership and such a great friendship that now I know on Monday morning I won't be doing that now and that's difficult."

The anticipated Blackpool performances saw actor Danny Mac score the first 40 of the series for a "showstopper" Charleston.

However, it was former shadow chancellor Ed Balls who stole the show as he was lowered from the Blackpool Winter Gardens Tower Ballroom ceiling playing a piano before taking to the dance floor to jive with Katya Jones to Jerry Lee Lewis' hit Great Balls Of Fire.

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