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Annabel Croft performs emotional dance on Strictly in tribute to late husband

Annabel Croft performed an emotional couple’s choice dance on Strictly Come Dancing in tribute to her late husband.

The former champion tennis player’s husband of 36 years, Mel Coleman, died from cancer aged 60 in May – just 16 weeks after diagnosis.

In a video show ahead of the performance, Croft was seen taking her dance partner Johannes Radebe to Richmond Park where she used to walk with her late partner.

For the routine to Wings by Birdy, Croft glided across the dancefloor dressed in a elegant flowing dress to secure a score of 35.


Judge Shirley Ballas said: “I thought that was graceful, that was charming… It was just divine.”

Anton Du Beke added that the judges often focus on specific movements but feels “sometimes it doesn’t matter about all that, sometimes it’s just about dancing and when there’s reason for it, it’s just perfect, and this was perfect”.

Craig Revel Horwood felt it was a “beautiful story beautifully executed”, while Motsi Mabuse said it was her “best dance” so far.

To kick off Saturday’s show, actor Layton Williams delivered quick footwork, a pirouette and an aerial cartwheel to secure a score of 36 – the highest scoring jive of the series so far.

Donning a matching glitzy costume with his partner Nikita Kuzmin, they performed to Shake Your Body by SHY FX & T Power feat Di.

Ballas noted it it one of the most difficult dances, praising it as “absolutely outstanding”.

While Du Beke said he agreed to a point, but felt his kicks got a “little heavy” towards the end, adding: “Great but not your best.”

Veteran broadcaster Angela Rippon delivered an elegant waltz with partner Kai Widdrington for her routine.

Dressed in a blue dress with a sparkly bodice, they glided to Fascination by Nat King Cole to pick up a score of 28.

Du Beke said she was “beautiful and elegant”, but noted the routine was “a little abrupt” as her side steps were not wide enough.

Revel Horwood added that her footwork was “a little wobbly” and Mabuse encouraged her to push herself more.

Actor Nigel Harman brought the heat to the dancefloor with his partner Katya Jones as they danced a passionate tango.

Performing to Nothing Breaks Like A Heart by Mark Robson and Miley Cyrus, they secured a score of 33.

Revel Horwood said he felt the actor picked his feet up “too much” and that the routine “lacked drama”.

However, Mabuse disagreed as she insisted that she saw the drama throughout, while Ballas felt he brought his “A game” this week.

Angela Scanlon delivered an energetic samba to Ain’t It Funny by Jennifer Lopez on Strictly to land a score of 27.

The Irish TV star donned a red flamenco-style dress with a black corset and detailing while her partner Carlos Gu sported a black and white polka dot shirt.

After the performance, Scanlon admitted the dance took her out of her comfort zone as being dressed sexy is “frowned upon” in her hometown Ratoath.

Mabuse said she loved her lines and personality but said her upper body was bent too far backwards which threw off some other movements.

Revel Horwood also noted that her top and bottom have were “disconnected” but felt her energy was “incredible”.