Les Dennis has become the first celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing 2023.
The TV presenter, actor and comedian and his professional partner Nancy Xu found themselves sitting at the bottom of the leaderboard after two weeks, scoring a total of 31 points for their Tango and Samba. In the dance-off, they faced BBC Asian Network radio presenter Nikita Kanda and her professional partner Gorka Marquez.
In a bid to win over the judges and remain in the competition, Les and Nancy performed their Samba to ‘Rock The Boat’ by The Hues Corporation, whilst Nikita and Gorka danced their Charleston to ‘Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)’ by Beyoncé.
After both couples had danced again, host Tess Daly asked the judges who they wanted to stay in the competition. Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke all chose Nikita and Gorka, meaning they made it through to Movie Week on Saturday night.
Head judge Shirley Ballas was not required to vote, but said she would also have saved Nikita and Gorka.
When asked by Tess about his time on the show, Les said: “I’ve had the best time, this lady has been amazing, a great teacher, she’s really put me through my paces.” He added to Nancy, “I did as well as I could for you, I hope! That lot up there, I’m going to miss you so much. I really appreciate and understand the judge’s point of view, thank you so much [to head judge Shirley] for giving me a 10 for entertainment. I hope I’ve entertained, that’s what I came here for. Strictly is the best and the people who put this on, you’re just all amazing!”
Nancy was then asked by Tess how it had it been teaching in the training room with her partner Les. She said: “It’s been a journey. This is such a short but a sweet journey. A lot of challenges we all know, but to see you [Les] every day improve yourself. I respect you so, so much. I just want to say thank you to the judges and all my fellow friends. Thank you Strictly Come Dancing for all of your support. Thank you Les.”
This evening’s results show also featured a fabulous routine from Strictly’s troupe of professional dancers to a medley in tribute to the iconic Tina Turner. Singer-songwriter Jorja Smith also made an appearance, performing her song ‘Try Me’.
Les and Nancy will be joining Fleur East and Janette Manrara for their first exclusive televised interview live on Strictly: It Takes Two on Monday 2nd October at 6.30pm on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.
The remaining 14 couples will return to the dancefloor next week for the first themed show of the series – it’s time for Movie Week!
Strictly Come Dancing 2023 will return for Movie Week on Saturday 7th October at 6.20 PM on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, with the Results Show on Sunday 8th October at 7.15 PM.