Carol Kirkwood’s time in the Strictly Come Dancing sun has come to an end, but the BBC weather reporter was showered with praise from her professional partner Pasha Kovalev.
Carol became the sixth dancer to leave the show on Sunday night, after the judges unanimously voted to save EastEnders star Kellie Bright and her partner Kevin Clifton in the dance-off.
But Carol was as upbeat as ever when presenter Tess Daly asked her how she felt about her time on the show: “I will never forget this as long as I live.
“A huge thank you to everybody from the runners to the make-up, hair, wardrobe, the lovely judges and all your encouragement, the fabulous contestants, the crew but more than that to Pasha,” she added. “He’s just wonderful. He’s got the patience of a saint, the best teacher in the world, a gentleman and a gentle man so thank you.”
Saturday’s show saw Carol and Pasha dance the American Smooth to ‘Man! I Feel Like a Woman’ by Shania Twain, earning them 17 points and a “bumper car” barb from Craig Revel Horwood.
Pasha told his celebrity partner that he had never worked with anyone so nice before.
“Working with you was the most amazing experience I have had on Strictly because I couldn’t even believe that you can be so nice,” he said. “People are that nice, I didn’t know that. Thank you so much. I’m definitely going to miss you singing to me.”
After a run of four men in a row leaving the competition, the Strictly gender balance is being restored: Carol becomes the second woman to leave the competition after Kirsty Gallacher last week.
EastEnders actor Kellie survives another week, after all four judges voted to keep her in the competition. This was the first time her partner Kevin Clifton had ever been in the dance-off since joining the show in 2013.