Sunday 22 April 2018

Anita Rani leaves Strictly after 'amazing' experience on the show

Tess Daly (left) with the bottom couple Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko during the Strictly Come Dancing results show. Credit: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire
Tess Daly (left) with the bottom couple Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko during the Strictly Come Dancing results show. Credit: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire

Lorna Cooper

Anita Rani misses out on a place in next week's Strictly Come Dancing grand final after becoming the 11th celebrity to leave the show.

The TV star and her professional partner Gleb Savchenko ended up in the dance-off alongside broadcaster Katie Derham and her partner Anton Du Beke.

Rani told presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman that her Strictly experience had been "amazing".

"I reached the semi-final as somebody who has never, ever danced before and to have pushed through and worked as hard as I have, and to have done the stuff that I have done - it's been amazing!" she enthused.

Derham will now contest the final alongside bookies' favourite Jay McGuiness, EastEnders star Kellie Bright and former Coronation Street actress, Georgia May Foote.

On Saturday night, the celebrities were tasked with two dances. Rani performed a foxtrot and a salsa, while Derham danced a Charleston and a waltz.

The 38-year-old was judged to have performed better on the night as it was Derham who finished bottom of the leaderboard.

But a first appearance in the dreaded dance-off for both ladies resulted in the judges sending Rani home.

Read more: EastEnders' Kellie Bright tops Strictly Come Dancing semi-final leaderboard

"Little did I know just how difficult it is and how wonderful it is," she said of her participation before paying tribute to Savchenko

"I've had the most incredible time, this man is a slave driver. He's beautiful, but he's also got the most creative mind."

She added: "I just want to thank Gleb for pushing me and bringing out the best in me, and making me do things that I never thought I could do and just believing in me from the start."

Rani said every dance had been special, but she singled out the popular BBC One ballroom show's annual pilgrimage and her movie week performance.

"Blackpool and my paso doble was a highlight because it just got a huge reaction and to do it up in Blackpool was brilliant. My Ghost dance, that was amazing too, and just dancing with Gleb - it was all just incredible."

In the words of the show's catchphrase, the TV presenter promised to keep dancing, but she couldn't choose a winner when pressed.

"All four of them are amazing, I will be cheering all four of them on."

She added: "They are four of my best mates in the whole world and I will be sending them positive vibes to keep them going because I know it's going to take a lot of energy and mental strength to get through the final so yes - any one of them can win it."

Press Association

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