Natalie Lowe shocked Strictly Come Dancing fans when she announced that she would be retiring from the show after seven years.
She’s had a real mixed bag of partnerships over the years, from the amazing (Ricky Whittle) to the not-so-amazing (sorry Ainsley Harriott!).
To celebrate Natalie’s time on the show, we look back at some of her most memorable performances with her seven Strictly partnerships:
1. Ricky Whittle
Natalie joined Strictly with a bang, partnering Hollyoaks hunk Ricky Whittle in her debut year. Rumours swirled about the pair growing close, and their Argentine Tango performance in the semi-final did nothing to dampen the whispers. It propelled them to the final where they came second, eventually losing out to Chris Hollins. Where’s the justice, eh?
2. Scott Maslen
Another year, another soap star. This time, Natalie was with EastEnders bad boy Scott Maslen. Arguably their most memorable performance was Hit the Road Jack (see what they did with the song choice there? Subtle). Natalie stole a cheeky kiss from Bruno and definitely showed Scott who was boss. It was another solid pairing for Natalie, with the couple eventually coming fourth on the show.
3. Audley Harrison
Although the couple only made it to the half way mark in the competition, this beautiful waltz between Natalie and boxer Audley Harrison from 2011 was graceful, moving and brought out the best in both of them. They managed to last an impressive seven weeks on the show, but it was just a shame they didn’t make it further in the competition.
4. Michael Vaughn
Poor Natalie and Michael Vaughn had a bit of a bumpy ride during their Strictly journey. Michael didn’t have the most elastic hips in the world, but he certainly gave his best in this samba with Natalie. In a dance move dubbed ‘The John Sergeant’, Natalie had to do the classic case of mainly dancing around instead of with their partner. But she looked amazing, so who really cares?
5. Tim Wonnacott
After having a year out due to injury in 2013, Natalie was back the following year. And what a welcome back prize she got! Natalie was partnered with then-Bargain Hunt host Tim Wonnacott. This Charleston to Money Money is brilliant – not because it’s technically fantastic, but because it’s utterly creepy and Tim is being peak Disney villain. Even Natalie seems to be suppressing a laugh or three throughout…
6. Ainsley Harriott
Ainsley Harriott was pure hilarity in his pairing with Natalie from start to finish on Strictly – so it was just such a shame that they only lasted four weeks on the show. The highlight had to be their performance to Don’t Touch My Tomatoes, where Natalie wasted no time in grabbing a pair of the juicy red things, suggestively salsaing across the dance floor with them and promptly handing them (again) to Bruno. She’s sure going to miss that man.
7. Greg Rutherford
Last year, which would prove to be Natalie’s last Strictly, she really went out with a bang. She was partnered with Greg Rutherford and it was in their Jive to ‘Get Ready’ where the couple really shone, and not just because Greg did an epic jump from the stage. Energetic, fun and saucy – it was the perfect pairing to go out with. We’ll miss you, Natalie!