Ainsley Harriott leaves Strictly Come Dancing

"I’m sad that it can’t continue," said the TV chef, but admitted "I made a couple of mistakes and the judges are spot on, they know exactly what they are talking about"

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Ainsley Harriott became the fourth celebrity to leave Strictly this year, but while he won’t be taking home the Glitterball Trophy the TV chef will be happy with the consolation prize of being called “one of the loveliest men I’ve ever met” by pro partner Natalie Lowe.

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Ainsley and Natalie found themselves up against Jamelia and Tristan MacManus in the dance-off on Sunday night, performing an energetic jive to Bill Haley and the Comets’ Shake, Rattle and Roll against Jamelia and Tristan’s Foxtrot to Because You Loved Me by Celine Dione.

It was a unanimous decision from the judges to save Jamelia, although Darcey Bussell admitted it had been a tough call, saying “I so enjoyed both performances”.

Following the result, Ainsley told host Tess Daly his time on Strictly had been “absolutely amazing” but said the judges were right to send him home.

“I’m sad that it can’t continue,” he admitted, “but I made a couple of mistakes and the judges are spot on, they know exactly what they are talking about.”

“I’m sad for you,” he told partner Natalie. “I wanted to push on a little bit more but it wasn’t meant to be.”

“I think you are one of the loveliest men I’ve ever met,” she responded. “What you see is what you get with Ainsley. From the people in the street to the judges, everyone speaks so highly of you and you are such a gentleman and you’ve been a dream to work with. I’m sorry we couldn’t go further. We have had a lot of fun in rehearsals.”

Next Saturday’s Strictly promises more fun, with Halloween week set to bring “spiders, witches, broomsticks and ghosts to the Strictly ballroom”. 

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Strictly Come Dancing will be back on Saturday 31st October at 6:35pm with the results show on Sunday 1st November at 7:15pm on BBC1