Mark Benton has become the ninth celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing.
The actor, who was known for his funny characterisation and light-hearted routines during his time on the show, has been voted out of the competition after a Samba to I Just Can’t Wait To Be King from The Lion King saw him come in at the bottom of the leader board.
Benton and his professional dancing parter Iveta Lukosiute faced Ashley Taylor Dawson in the dreaded dance off, and the judges unanimously chose to save the Hollyoaks actor, who had found himself in the bottom two for the first time during the competition. This week, which saw the celebrities embrace the world of musicals, was the fourth time Mark Benton had been in the dance off in as many weeks.
Of his departure from the show, Benton said: “What a time I have had! I’ve got to say thank you to my dear friend and fantastic teacher Iveta, she is amazing. I also want to thank my amazing wife and children, the backstage guys, the beautiful band, the judges they are all amazing.”
“I’ve had a ball,” he concluded.
His dancing partner Iveta said: “This is my first season and Mark made it so special and memorable. I enjoyed every minute with him, he made me laugh. I taught him dance and he taught me many more things than that. He is my family.”
Watch Mark’s final performance:
As well as Mark’s departure, this week saw the first top marks of the series, as Abbey Clancy scored 40 for her disco-inspired Salsa to You Should Be Dancing from Saturday Night Fever.
Next week will see the remaining six celebrities compete in the series 11 quarter final.
Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 7:10pm on BBC1.