By PAUL REVOIR
Farewell hug: Felicity Kendal was finally given the boot from Strictly Come Dancing tonight, seen here hugging dance partner Vincent Simone
Her time on Strictly Come Dancing has seen her win plaudits for her ability to perform the splits at the age of 64.
Tonight, however, proved a stretch too far for Felicity Kendal, as the actress became the seventh celebrity to be voted off the show.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, the Good Life star insisted she had been surprised to get as far as she did – and countered suggestions by some critics that her youthful looks were down to cosmetic surgery.
Miss Kendal – dubbed ‘Flexible Felicity’ – said: ‘I’m afraid the bad news is girls you’ve got to do the work in the gym. I haven’t suddenly morphed into looking in the last week how I look now.
‘That’s how I look. I am used to looking good. In a way if I thought I looked like the back end of a bus I probably wouldn’t have done Strictly Come Dancing and gone out there in public.
‘It is a kind of being comfortable with yourself – you have to be to take this job on.’
End of the road: The actress had been odds-on favourite to be eliminated from the competition after ending up in the bottom two twice - including last week
Miss Kendal and dance partner Vincent Simone left the competition after their American Smooth routine at Blackpool Tower Ballroom scored the lowest combination of viewers and judges’ votes. She was joined in the bottom two by fellow actress Patsy Kensit.
She refused to criticise Ann Widdecombe, who has outlasted her in the competition despite consistently poor marks from the judges because of overwhelming support from viewers voting at home.
Decision time: She came in the bottom two with Patsy Kensit, right, with dance partner Robin Windsor
On Saturday night, the former Tory MP scored one of the lowest marks in the show’s history with 13 out of a possible 40 points for her samba, which head judge Len Goodman described as being as painful as haemorrhoids.
Asked about Miss Widdecombe’s continued presence on the show, Miss Kendal said: ‘This show is actually for the public and the judges to decide what goes and who goes where. I don’t think it is appropriate for somebody who is in it to start brandishing opinions.’
Entertainment: Cirque Du Soleil performed on the results show
While she would not publicly back anyone to win the show, she did say she thought Kara Tointon was an ‘amazing dancer’.
Miss Kendal’s departure came despite judge Craig Revel Horwood describing parts of her dance as ‘great’ and positive comments from Goodman and other judges.
Flying high: Members of the circus troupe were suspended in the air
She said: ‘I absolutely loved the last dance and I think the nicest possible way to end it is to do it with a dance that you were pleased with, that the judges liked, that the people liked, what can be better?
‘I am sitting in a pot of honey and I am fit – so what could be better?’
The actress said of the physical effects of her time on Strictly: ‘I have definitely lost a size. But what happens is that you tone up. So you lose a size but what happens is you get muscle instead of everything else. It is the most fantastic exercise.'
She put her ability to do the splits down to regular workouts, saying: ‘There’s no secret. I have always exercised so I already had that. Although I can’t dance I am quite flexible.’
She said: ‘I think the public really took to me much more than I ever hoped. I was absolutely thrilled to bits getting as far as I did. I really came out of it thinking, “Wow! That was a total success” as far as time and experience. I couldn’t actually have been happier.’
Miss Kendal also hit out at Strictly’s Saturday night rival The X Factor, saying: ‘I have to say I am a Strictly fan which is why I am in it. I’ve always watched it for years.
‘I am not an X Factor fan and I just think it is a different show.
‘One is about learning something new and having a great time and the other is rather desperate.’
Sunday, 21 November 2010
By PAUL REVOIR