Angela Rippon’s Strictly Come Dancing partner Kai Widdrington has addressed their exit from the BBC present on Sunday (19 November) after their journey ended following 10 rollercoaster weeks.
By the tip of the “Blackpool Week” performances on Saturday night time (18 November), Rippon, 79, discovered herself within the leaderboard’s backside two for the third consecutive week.
The veteran newsreader exited the present on Sunday when Strictly judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, and Anton DuBeke all voted to avoid wasting EastEnders actor Bobby Brazier.
Widdrington, who beforehand defended Rippon towards claims her journey on the present was “mounted” or pre-decided due to her previous connection to Strictly, shared a heartfelt message for his dance partner on social media after they had been eradicated.
The choreographer, 28, wrote on Instagram: “What a tremendous 10 weeks with the legend that’s Angela Rippon. We promised we’d be ‘Rippon’ up the dance ground and we did.”
He thanked all of the followers who “supported our journey” earlier than praising Rippon for her dedication to the present, writing “you by no means complained as soon as regardless of the accidents, the brutal coaching regime and the more and more complicated routines”.
Widdrington added: “It was my pleasure and a privilege to bounce with you, you taught us all that age actually is only a quantity.”
Rippon made historical past because the present’s oldest ever contestant when the 2023 lineup was introduced, forward of the season premiere.
Whereas her debut efficiency, marked by an impressively excessive kick, earned reward from followers, viewers started speculating Rippon had “Blackpool Week Plot Armour” and wouldn’t be eradicated till after the hotly anticipated “Blackpool week” concluded – regardless of constantly receiving low marks from the judges.
They highlighted the British broadcaster’s earlier ties to the BBC, the place Rippon started her journalism profession, in addition to the present – together with presenting the unique ballroom dance competitors that gave Strictly its identify, Come Dancing.
In a press release to The Impartial, a Strictly supply stated: “The entire judges are massively skilled people who choose on dance and dance alone in the primary present and within the dance offs. Any conspiracy theories suggesting in any other case are merely unfaithful”.
Widdrington beforehand defended Rippon within the face of those claims that the present was “mounted” throughout an episode of It Takes Two – the companion present to Strictly.
“We did sufficient, we had a great rating,” the Strictly professional stated, referring to his and Rippon’s dance-off towards Krishnan Guru-Murthy throughout the week earlier than Blackpool. “I feel you deserved your home at Blackpool so.”