Angela Rippon might be the oldest Strictly Come Dancing contestant ever to compete on the BBC entertainment show, but she's already proven age is but a number – and it's only Week 1.


The Strictly Come Dancing celebs are only just finding their dancing feet but Angela, 78, dazzled not only the viewers but the judges as well when she took to the dance floor for her first performance of the season tonight (Saturday 23rd September).

The broadcasting veteran sparkled literally and figuratively throughout her Cha Cha with professional partner Kai Widdrington, set to the soundtrack of Get the Party Started.

Angela's pièce de résistance was an incredible split, which saw Kai lift her leg high into the air.

The judges could hardly contain their excitement when it came time to have their say on the stunning routine, which got a deafening round of applause from the studio audience.

"That was a statement," Motsi Mabuse enthused. "That's how you start a Saturday night. My goodness. Wowzer!"

Head Judge Shirley Bassey praised Angela's "most spectacular dance," saying: "Simple in content and executed with 150 per cent of Angela Rippon."

Anton Du Beke, meanwhile, seemed briefly lost for words – but, of course, found them again in time to praise her unreservedly.

Then it came time for notorious miser of the panel, Craig Revel Horwood.

But even Craig didn't have a bad word to say, exclaiming: "Jaw-dropping darling!"

"I've never seen him that happy!" Tess Daly laughed, as Craig beamed at the silver sequin-class Angela.

Strictly viewers went wild for the routine on Twitter, with one branding her a "queen", a "legend" and an "icon".

Another said: "Angela Rippon is incredible. For her to move like that at 78 YEARS OLD!!! What a woman! A true living legend. So proud of her."

And the reactions didn't stop there...

Kai looked like the proudest pro in Elstree, later telling Claudia Winkleman how even he'd been surprised by how high Angela could get her leg in the assisted split which was without doubt the biggest and best surprise of the routine.

The presenter scored a mammoth (for Week 1) 28 points from the judges and was – briefly – top of the Strictly leaderboard.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday 30th September at 6:20pm. The results show will air on Sunday 1st October on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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