Anita Dobson kicked off Strictly with a cha cha cha
ANITA Dobson lost her partner on Strictly Come Dancing - and then lost her place on the show when viewers and judges bid cheerio to her cha cha cha.
Saturday night's programme saw the former EastEnders star perform the dance with Brendan Cole to the Billy Joel hit Uptown Girl after a foot infection prevented her regular partner, Robin Windsor, from joining her.
With the exception of one, the judges were not unkind in their comments on the routine, awarding her 30 out of 40 points in total.
But hard-to-please Craig Revel Horwood criticised its "lack of sharpness" and argued there was "no true dynamic to it".
And viewers appeared to agree when placing their votes.
But Dobson, who played Angie Watts in the BBC soap opera, remained upbeat about the "wonderful learning experience" she had had on the BBC reality show.
Thanking Windsor, she said: "He made this the most humorous, enjoyable, fun, wonderful learning experience you could ever imagine.
"Thank you so much. Can I just say thank you to Brendan too, because without him I wouldn't have done this week."
Windsor appeared via telephone link-up to apologise to his partner.
"Anita darling, I just wanted to say you've been absolutely incredible and I'm so sorry I couldn't be there with you tonight," he said.
"It has been a pleasure to work with you. You have been one of the most enthusiastic and hard-working people I've ever, ever, ever met. I'm going to miss you dearly."
Last night's results show also featured a performance by American singer and rapper Cee Lo Green of his pop hit Forget You.