Belfast Telegraph

Charles Venn is 10th celebrity to leave Strictly

The Casualty actor found himself in the dance-off against Ashley Roberts

Charles Venn has been ousted from Strictly Come Dancing after one of the most-feared dance routines – the rumba – put him in the dreaded dance-off with Ashley Roberts.

The Casualty actor, 45, was the 10th celebrity to leave the BBC One show after performing the sensual, rhythmic routine with his professional partner, Karen Clifton, to Maria from West Side Story.

The pair, who have previously been in the bottom two three times, found themselves in the dance-off during this weekend’s musical-themed show with ex-Pussycat Doll Roberts, 37, and her professional partner Pasha Kovalev.

Roberts was left dancing for her place in the show for a second weekend in a row despite earning a score of 38 for her quickstep to Don’t Rain On My Parade from Funny Girl.

The judges’ scores were combined with the results of the viewers’ votes to decide the lowest-scoring two couples facing the dance-off, with Roberts performing her quickstep and Venn his rumba – believed to be more difficult for the novice male dancer to master – again.

All the judges said they would save Roberts, who has sparked some controversy for her level of previous dance experience.

Darcey Bussell said: “This is horrible to make a choice between these two but the couple I would like to save on the pure complexity and brilliance of the dance is Ashley and Pasha.”

Craig Revel Horwood said he “truly loved” both performances and was left with a “difficult” decision.

“But for the most solid and technically demanding performance, I’m going to choose Ashley and Pasha,” he said.

Bruno Tonioli also praised both couples for their “wonderful, completely different” performances but said Roberts’ dance was “stronger, more accomplished, more complicated, and more exciting”.

Head judge Shirley Ballas said she agreed with her fellow judges.

Venn was full of praise for his professional partner and said: “I have to pay extreme homage to this woman here because Karen Clifton turned me into a promising dancer. A promising dancer honestly!

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Ashley Roberts has survived another dance-off (BBC/PA)

“This woman has been by my side and supported me, she’s been strict, she’s been solid, she’s been caring and loving, sensitive, intuitive, and I’m adamant that without her I don’t know how I would have got to this level.”

Venn said the street dance and samba were highlights of his time of the show, adding: “I am so thankful and appreciative of this opportunity.

“I’ve learnt so much about myself. I now know I can do a bit of ballroom and salsa. I’m so thankful. Thank you for the opportunity. Thank you Strictly Come Dancing. Thank you to the voters. Thank you judges because you guys saved our butts a couple of times so thank you, thank you.”

Clifton said: “Oh Charles, I can only say that you have been the most humble, the most professional person who I’ve ever worked with. And thank you for always respecting me as a woman, as a friend and as a teacher, and I will never forget this journey that we had together.”

The remaining five couples will next take to the dance floor on Saturday when Strictly Come Dancing continues at 6.35pm.

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