STRICTLY Come Dancing star Dan Walker and Nadiya Bychkova were dramatically axed from the show tonight after losing the dance-off.
The BBC Breakfast star, 44, had defied the odds to make it all the way to the quarter-finals – seeing off arguably more gifted dancers by charming the voting audience.
Dan Walker was eliminated from the show tonight after a brutal dance-offCredit: PA
He and Nadiya Bychkova lost out to AJ Odudu and Kai WiddringtonCredit: PA
He and Nadiya wound up in the dance-off against TV presenter AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington – with the judges unanimously choosing to save AJ.
Dan and Nadiya have proved a formidable double act, taking their obvious chemistry onto the dancefloor on Saturday nights.
Speaking to Strictly host Tess Daly tonight, the BBC presenter paid tribute to his pro dancer partner.
He said: “The last 11 weeks have been absolutely amazing, I’ve genuinely loved every second of it.
“When I go back to the first day when I was asked to dance in front of some glitter balls. At that point, if there had been a fire exit, I felt that uncomfortable I’d have just walked away.
“But this amazing woman grabbed me by the hand, and brought me out on to this dance floor.
“I’m not a dancer, but she showed me that I can dance, and that for me, this has been an absolutely incredible experience.
“I’ve really loved it. And can I say thank you to the judges, your feedback every week has been brilliant, really constructive and helpful, and everyone over there, my fellow competitors, have been brilliant.
“The four people left are so good, as you say, the standard has been amazing, it’s been a pleasure for me to watch them dance each week, and thank you to all the pros for being so kind, caring and encouraging.
“Plus everyone who works on this programme, it’s a pleasure to be a part of a show that means so much to so many people.
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“I also want to mention this amazing woman next to me, there are some people who walk into your life and turn some lights on, and that’s what she has done to me.
“You’re an amazing person, and if you’ll have me, I’ll be your friend for life Nadiya Bychkova, OK?”
She replied: “Like he said, sometimes the right person walks into your life at the right time and that’s what happened.
“You always encourage everyone, you always have time for everyone, it just inspires me to be a better person myself. Thank you.”
The pair danced for one final time in front of Strictly host Tess DalyCredit: PA
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