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Lynda Bellingham and Darren Bennett

Lynda

Calendar Girl Lynda Bellingham

You’d have thought that after nearly a year playing Chris in Calendar Girls at Chichester, on tour and in the West End, that actress Lynda Bellingham would have had her fill of the character for the time being.

Yet here she is, back on the road, finding new aspects to Chris and apparently loving every moment of it.

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Darren

Ol’ Blue Eyes set to light up Alhambra

Top Frank Sinatra tribute artist Stephen Triffitt will be in the lead role of the new musical ‘Ol’ Blue Eyes and Friends – Live on TV’ when the world premiere is staged at the Alhambra.

It’s also been announced that ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ past winner Darren Bennett will play the part of the legendary Gene Kelly when the show makes its debut in Dunfermline.

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Darren

Shock for Strictly stars Darren and Lilia

Sheffield dance favourites Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopylova have been snubbed by Strictly Come Dancing bosses - who have axed them from competing with celebrities in the main section of the show.

Instead the couple - who are performing tonight in the second of two appearances at Sheffield City Hall in their hit Latin Fever show - would just be members of a dance troupe performing more 'spectacular' numbers.

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Lilia

We’re wedded to the job

With rumours rife about the BBC giving the beloved Strictly Come Dancing a shake-up, there was always the worry that some of the professional dancers were going to be waltzing off the show.

But twinkle-toed man and wife Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopylova – dance mentors on the hit TV series – are taking the speculation in their stride.

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Lynda

Judges comments about Lynda

On Saturday 10th October, Actress and TV presenter Lynda Bellingham became the fourth celebrity to be voted off the seventh series of BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing.

In week four of the competition, all 13 of the remaining celebrity contestants and their professional dance partners took to the floor to dance either a foxtrot or a salsa.

After Saturday's performance, the combination of the judges' scores and viewer votes left Lynda Bellingham and her professional partner Darren Bennett in the bottom two and facing the dance off with Craig Kelly and his professional partner Flavia Cacace. Lynda and Darren then performed their foxtrot to Neil Sedaka’s ‘Calendar Girl’ and Craig and Flavia their foxtrot to Dan Hill’s ‘Sometimes When We Touch’ for a second time for the judges' deciding vote.

The Judges' Comments

Making their decision on who to save the judges said:

Craig Revel Horwood: “Well this is a tough one actually because of course the male celebrity has to lead and the female celebrity must follow, and in this situation it’s very difficult but I’m going for the most confident couple on the dancefloor tonight and that was Lynda and Darren.”

Alesha Dixon: “I think both couples came out and did themselves really proud, but the couple who I felt matched the brief better is Lynda and Darren.”

Bruno Tonioli: “Well this is very, very hard because actually Craig said it, the man has to lead in this, the woman has to follow. For me I will have to go with Craig and Flavia.”

With two votes in Lynda and Darren’s favour and one vote in Craig and Flavia’s favour, that left Head Judge Len Goodman to cast his deciding vote. He said: “It was a very, very difficult decision to make because I thought they both came out and upped their game, however I have to pick one and I’m going for Craig and Flavia.”

Asked about her elimination, Lynda Bellingham laughingly said: “It was having all those affairs with you (Bruce) at lunchtime that let me down!”. When asked what she would miss most about Strictly she replied “Everybody, and Darren’s been absolutely fantastic. Brilliant. Good luck and Craig, they got the best man on the night.”

Saturday night's show also saw Dionne Bromfield perform her forthcoming single “Mama Said”, with her godmother Amy Winehouse on backing vocals. Viewers were also treated to a stunning tap dance choreographed by Ryan Francois, performed by Dougie Mills and Mattias Lundmark and accompanied by Strictly’s professional dancers.

Next week, the remaining 12 couples in the competition will perform either a Jive or a Viennese Waltz.

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Lynda

Lynda relieved to exit Strictly

Lynda Bellingham is relieved to have been axed from Strictly Come Dancing.

The Loose Women presenter and her partner Darren Bennett lost out in the dance-off to 'Coronation Street' star Craig Kelly and Flavia Cacace on Saturday; but admits she has no regrets as she had no idea how stressful she would find the show

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Lynda

Lynda voted off Strictly

Actress Lynda Bellingham and her pro-partner Darren Bennett have become the latest couple to be voted off Strictly Come Dancing. The pair were beaten in the dance off by Coronation Street actor Craig Kelly and pro Flavia Cacace.

61-year-old Bellingham was saved by both Craig Revel Horwood and Alesha Dixon. However, as Bruno Tonioli and head judge Len Goodman both chose to save Kelly, the head judge's casting vote sent Bellingham home.

Both of the dance off couples danced a foxtrot in this week's show. Tonight's contest saw the remaining couples in the competition perform either a foxtrot or a salsa.

The public vote once again saved the two couples who were at the bottom of the judges' leader board, Jo Wood and Brendan Cole and Joe Calzaghe and Kristina Rihanoff, who each scored just 20 points out of a possible 40. Top of the leader board with 34 points - despite the week's race rows - were Laila Rouass and Anton Du Beke.

Former cricketer Phil Tufnell performed a salsa depite undergoing knee surgery earlier in the week. Impressing the judges were former Hollyoaks actress Ali Bastian and her pro-partner Brian Fortuna and current Hollyoaks star Ricky Whittle and his partner Natalie Holt who also performed the salsa.

The show also saw a performance by Amy Winehouse. Winehouse was providing back-up vocals for her god-daughter, 13-year-old singer Dionne Bromfield.

Next week's Strictly Come Dancing sees the remaining couples dance either a jive or a Viennese waltz. The show can be seen on BBC One on Saturday.

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Lynda

Lynda Bellingham gets the boot

Actress Lynda Bellingham has become the fourth casualty of Strictly Come Dancing 2009 after losing out to Craig Kelly in the dance-off.

The 61-year-old had survived last week's dance off but this week her luck ran out after both she and Kelly had reprised their foxtrots, and the judges voted to save the Coronation Street star.

However it was a close run thing after she and professional partner Darren Bennett received the first two judges votes, from Craig Revel Horwood and Alesha Dixon.

"This is a tough one for me," Craig told them, "but I'm going for the most confident couple tonight."

Bruno then tipped the balance by voting to save Craig and partner Flavia Cacace, leaving Len Goodman with the casting vote.

And although he admitted it was a "difficult decision,", he voted to save Craig and Flavia.

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Lynda

I've got more stamina than Strictly boys

Lynda Bellingham has claimed that she's better than the male celebs on Strictly Come Dancing.

The Loose Women presenter told Closer: "I may have put my heel through my dress the other day but I'm better than most of the guys in my group - just watch me!

“I have more stamina on the dancefloor than any of the men."

The 61-year-old actress is finding the grueling rehearsals are helping her tone up her figure and that her husband has noticed her new body.

She said: "My body image isn't great, especially as I constantly get to see myself in the mirror during rehearsals in the dance studio. I've definitely noticed a few things tightening up. My stomach, bum and calf muscles are benefiting.

"He says I look more taut, and when he comes to the live shows he tells me what I look good in. The only issue he has is with the fake tan I leave all over our white bedsheets!"

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Lynda

Lynda doesn't want to look like an orange

Strictly Come Dancing contestant Lynda Bellingham has said that she is dreading wearing the fake tan needed for the show.

The actress has revealed that she is worried that she will end up looking like an "orange" on the dance competition.

She said: "I am dreading the fake tan in case I turn into an orange, but I will probably be begging for more by the end of it.

"We have all got parts we don't want to draw attention to like the tops of your arms.

"We have all learned over the years to dress accordingly and you think, 'I don't look too bad'' - and then on come the dancers and you think, 'Oh no, there is no comparison!'"

She added: "The whole thing at 61 is I'm never going to look like Kate Moss."

The star joked that the only reason she agreed to take part in the contest was to prove to the public that she was still alive.

She said: "Part of me hated reality TV but television has changed so much in the last ten years.

"People forget you or think that you are dead if you are not on the telly."

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