Belfast Telegraph

Strictly 'best party in the world'

Former Bond girl Fiona Fullerton killed off her chances of winning Strictly Come Dancing by becoming the seventh celebrity to exit the show.

The View To A Kill star said taking part in the BBC One series was like "being a guest at the best party in the world".

She found herself in the bottom two alongside actor Mark Benton, going head-to-head in a dance-off to persuade the judges to let them stay in the competition.

Fiona, who, like Mark, scored 29 points out of 40, performed her American Smooth to Frank Sinatra's Come Fly With Me with professional partner Anton Du Beke who was dressed as a pilot.

Head judge Len Goodman told her: "I thought the attitude was first class, the movement was a bit business class and the lift was a little bit economy."

After both couples danced a second time, the judges delivered their verdicts with Craig Revel Horwood saving Fiona and Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli choosing to keep Mark and partner Iveta Lukosuite. It was then down to Len to cast the final decision, describing it as "v ery, very close". He said: "The thing is in the dance-off. You've really got to up your game or nerves stifle your performance. One couple I felt really did up their game. The other I think nerves got them and there was a lot of mistakes going on, and for that reason I'm going to save Mark."

Fiona described her experience as the "most amazing trip". She said: "I can't thank you enough, or the producers at the BBC, for asking me to take part in this show. It's been fantastic, thank you. Anton has been unbelievably patient I can't tell you. I honestly have a memory like a colander. He's been utterly brilliant."

Anton told her: "From my perspective this whole fabulous show is made fun because of the people we get to dance with, and you are just a joy. Every day I come in I get to dance with you. You are really lovely."

Former Coronation Street star Natalie Gumede showed she put her back problems behind her to secure the joint top score of the series so far. The favourite to win was awarded 39 points out of a possible 40 with BBC Breakfast presenter Susanna Reid. Natalie, who missed last week's show after fainting twice in rehearsals and previously suffered a painful spinal injury , channelled the flapper look as she performed the Charleston in a short, scarlet, sequin dress with professional partner Artem Chigvintsev.

Susanna sank to the ground as her scores were read out and she got her first 10 of the competition, swiftly followed by two more. Dressed in a red, Spanish-style, ruffled gown, she and partner Kevin Clifton, in a matador outfit, performed the paso doble.

The results show featured JLS performing their new single Billion Lights.

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