Ellie Simmonds is the sixth celebrity to depart this year’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.

Ellie Simmonds is the sixth celebrity to depart this year’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’

Ellie Simmonds is the sixth celebrity to depart this year’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’

The 27-year-old former Paralympian swimmer – and first person with dwarfism to compete on the BBC One show – said her time on the series was “life changing” as it has boosted her confidence.

Ellie, who was partnered with pro dancer Nikita Kuzmin, 24, added when asked by host Tess Daly about her experience: “I’ve literally had the time of my life. It’s been the most incredible experience – life changing really.

“I want to thank Nikita ever so much. I’m going to miss him – he’s changed my life and confidence.

“And all of you guys – the pros. Every single one of you who’ve been part of this ‘Strictly’.

“Behind closed doors, the costume designers, I’ve literally loved waking up every single day and dancing – I’m going to dance forever.

“It’s incredible – this show is life changing. (Nikita) changed my life.

“We’ve had the most amazing days. We’ve had not just dancing days but days we’ve just spoken for hours. And the confidence you’ve given me – I seem confident but you know what I’m like, I worry about everything so, so much and we’ve literally represented everything.

“We went out there any danced our life out every single night and I loved it so much.”

Nikita said about Ellie: “First of all make me speak first next time because I am crying!

“I am a bit disappointed as I wanted Ellie to have a bit more time on this TV show – I know how much it means to her.

“I’m really happy that this journey has been with (Ellie) because she has taught me so, so much – so much empathy, just so much... I’ve learnt so much in these seven weeks.

“I really wanted to go with you to Blackpool – I think we should go there for the rides?

“I love you Els, I just want to tell you every single person in this room loves you.

“That is just to say how much of a beautiful human you are. You spend time to go to each person inside this room, you care about everybody, you are just such a wonderful human and I am so glad I’ve had the chance to dance with you.”

Ellie’s exit came after she faced singer Molly Rainford, 21, and her pro partner Carlos Gu, 28, in the dance off.

Ellie and Nikita performed their Charleston to ‘Too Darn Hot’ from ‘Kiss Me Kate’, while Molly and Carlos Gu did a Foxtrot to ‘You Make Me Happy by My Sun and My Stars.

Judge Craig Revel Horwood chose to save Molly and Carlos, saying: “Well, the couple I’d like to save are a couple that I think danced better than they did on Saturday night, in this particular dance off and that couple is Molly and Carlos”

Motsi Mabuse also picked the pair, adding: “First of all I thought that dance off was incredible. Both couples really, really just danced exceptionally well. I have decided to save Molly and Carlos.”

Her fellow judge Anton Du Beke said about his choice of Molly and Carlos: “Well, I think both couples can take credit from dancing an absolutely terrific dance off. But, the couple I’d like to save for making the performance even better than on Saturday night are Molly and Carlos.”

Head judge Shirley Ballas agreed with her fellow panellists, saying about also favouring Molly and Carlos: “Well, it was one of the best dance off’s I think I’ve ever seen, but again the performance was a little bit stronger in this dance off and I would have awarded it to Molly and Carlos.”

Sunday’s results show opened with a Bollywood-inspired routine from the professional dancers, while Luke Evans performed his single ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ from his ’A Song For You’ album.

The remaining nine couples will next take to the dancefloor on Saturday 12 November at 6.55pm, with the results show on Sunday 13 at 7.20pm on BBC One.