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Ann struts a spiceless salsa


Ann Widdecombe dancing with Anton Du Beke

Ann Widdecombe dancing with Anton Du Beke

Ann Widdecombe dancing with Anton Du Beke

As salsas go, it was decidedly unsaucy and lacking in spice...but at least it raised a smile.

In front of millions of prime-time viewers and four sharp-tongued judges, Ann Widdecombe managed to make the passionate Latin dance seem as sensual and sexual as a late night House of Common's debate.

Refusing her partner's gyrating rump and buttoning up his shirt may not have won over the Strictly Come Dancing panel. But her unique dancing style is fast elevating the former member for Maidstone to the status of a John Sergeant-esque Strictly treasure.

Dressed in a fetching turquoise outfit, the former MP donned the role of a disapproving prude for the performance.

After partner Anton Du Beke got things off to a thrilling start by ripping open his shirt, Widdecombe buttoned him back up. And an attempt at a little bump 'n' grind was greeted with equal enthusiasm from the former parliamentarian.

But the pair got it together for a spectacular finale. Ascending a podium at the back of the stage, Du Beke lifted his partner in the air and spun her around before attempting to gently place her back on the floor.

"It was unique," ventured judge Bruno Tonioli. "Somewhere between horror and comedy," he added.

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Widdecombe pre-empted Craig Revel Horwood comments by reminding him that he didn't have a "zero" marking card, so he should go ahead and award her one point there and then.

The usually straight-laced critic laughed at the bossy order before declaring: "There is not one word in the English language that can describe what 10 million people just witnessed." True to his word, he failed to offer up an adjective and called on fellow judge Len Goodman for help.

"It was a salsa the likes of which we will never see again," the ballroom specialist said, adding: "It was wonderful entertainment." He marked it a "four" as did fellow judge Alesha Dixon. Tonioli opted for a "three". And true to Widdecombe's prediction, Revel Horwood produced a "one".

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