Strictly Come Dancing 2012: Johnny Ball first to be voted off

The former king of 1970s pop-science departs the dance floor following a unanimous verdict from judges Craig, Darcey and Bruno

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Johnny Ball, the oldest swinger in town (not counting Brucie, of course) became the first celebrity to be voted off this year’s Strictly as three judges in a row chose instead to save Richard Arnold and his partner Erin Boag.

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The judges’ scores for last week’s performances were added to those for Saturday night and combined with the results of the viewers’ votes, placing Johnny, 74, and his partner Iveta Lukosiute (a replacement for the inured Aliona Vilani) in the bottom two alongside Richard and Erin.

Both couples then performed their routines again – Johnny and Iveta dancing a Foxtrot to Everything by Michael Bublé and Richard and Erin Cha Cha-ing to Love Shack by The B52s – before the judges gave their final verdicts.
  
Craig chose to save Richard “based on content alone,” while Darcey agreed, saying “For me, it is about the dance content between the two dances, and who gave me the most confidence in them (as a couple), and for me that is Richard and Erin.”
 
Bruno then sealed Johnny and Iveta’s fate: “For both couples it wasn’t as good the second time round. Again, for content alone, for that reason I would go for Richard and Erin.”

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Following the verdict, Johnny said he was proud of his performance, if unhappy to be leaving so soon: “I think for my age I did quite, quite well,” he said, “[But] I’m so disappointed I’m leaving, I really, really am.”