There was hardly a dry eye in the house after Annabel Croft performed her Couple's Choice routine with Johannes Radebe on tonight's Strictly Come Dancing.


After an emotional VT which saw the former tennis star take Johannes to a bench in Richmond Park that she regularly used to sit on with her late husband Mel Coleman, the pair wowed viewers with a moving tribute.

Several people in the audience – including Annabel's children – were in tears following the routine, and the judges were equally moved by the performance.

Head Judge Shirley Ballas was the first to deliver her verdict and, after wiping away tears, she gave glowing comments, explaining: "I didn't know your husband, but I feel like I do."

She called the performance "graceful", "charming" and "divine."

Anton Du Beke described the routine as "perfect", while Craig Revel Horwood called it "a beautiful story, beautifully executed", while Motsi Mabuse labelled it her "best dance".

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Upstairs, Claudia Winkleman was also clearly moved by the performance, and Annabel told her that it had been "difficult not to keep bursting into tears" while explaining that Johannes had been "an angel in my life".

In the end, the routine scored 35 points – an eight from Craig and nines from the other three judges – making it comfortably Annabel's best score so far in the series and putting her in a good position in the Strictly leaderboard.

Earlier this week, she revealed how appearing in the Strictly line-up had helped her following the sad death of Mel earlier in the year, explaining how it had given her a reason "to get up in the morning".

Strictly Come Dancing continues with the results show on Sunday 5th November at 7:15pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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