Male celebrities are having their worst Strictly opening ever

Four weeks of dance-offs, four men out. Will Halloween week give the female contestants a fright?

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It’s not going very well for the male contestants on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing: four men in a row have been sent home.

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Sports stars Iwan Thomas and Anthony Ogogo, singer Daniel O’Donnell and celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott have all been shown the glittery door thanks to the public and judges’ votes. Not a single female contestant has left the competition thus far.

With an unbalanced number from the get-go, there was actually one extra female celebrity dancer; eight to the men’s seven. But the odds haven’t been in the guys’ favour. Female contestants have been in the weekly dance-offs, yes, but none of them have gone out.

The last time we saw contestants of the same gender leave during the first four consecutive weeks was during 2005’s series three. That year it was four women who went in quick succession: actress Siobhan Hayes, soap star Jaye Jacobs, broadcaster Gloria Hunniford and presenter Fiona Phillips.

The tables turned the following week, with snooker player Dennis Taylor sent home. So perhaps we’ll see the same here and one of the women will have to wave goodbye to that Glitterball trophy this weekend?

With all eight women left, there’s plenty to choose from. Perhaps the odds actually will be with the men this time around. There’s certainly some talented lads left – Peter Andre has yet to have a score below seven, Jay McGuiness got the first ten of the series and I picked Jeremy Vine in the office sweepstake so I won’t hear anything against his infectious enthusiasm, even if he has been at the bottom of the leaderboard the last two weeks in a row… 

But with actresses Helen George and Kellie Bright currently joint top, the lads will have to bring out some impressive tricks to treat themselves to a week of grace in Halloween week. And if they don’t, we’ll see a new Strictly record set, as they make it five farewells in a row…

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Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday at 6:35pm on BBC1