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Saturday 3 December 2016

'It was the right time for me to go', as Daniel gets Strictly boot

For use in UK, Ireland or Benelux countries only BBC handout photo of Daniel O'Donnell and his dance partner Kristina Rihanoff during a live recording for this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC1. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday October 17, 2015. See PA story SHOWBIZ Strictly. Photo credit should read: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire
NOTE TO EDITORS: Not for use more than 21 days after issue. You may use this picture without charge only for the purpose of publicising or reporting on current BBC programming, personnel or other BBC output or activity within 21 days of issue. Any use after that time MUST be cleared through BBC Picture Publicity. Please credit the image to the BBC and any named photographer or independent programme maker, as described in the caption.
For use in UK, Ireland or Benelux countries only BBC handout photo of Daniel O'Donnell and his dance partner Kristina Rihanoff during a live recording for this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC1. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday October 17, 2015. See PA story SHOWBIZ Strictly. Photo credit should read: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: Not for use more than 21 days after issue. You may use this picture without charge only for the purpose of publicising or reporting on current BBC programming, personnel or other BBC output or activity within 21 days of issue. Any use after that time MUST be cleared through BBC Picture Publicity. Please credit the image to the BBC and any named photographer or independent programme maker, as described in the caption.

Daniel O'Donnell has become the third celebrity to waltz out of Strictly Come Dancing, but says it was "the right time for me to go".

O'Donnell (53) and his partner Kristina Rihanoff faced sports presenter Kirsty Gallacher and Brendan Cole in the dance-off, but mistakes in the routine saw O'Donnell being sent home.

He and Rihanoff performed the American Smooth to Frank Sinatra's Fly Me To The Moon, dressed as a pilot and a hostess, and the star admitted: "I forgot everything in the dance-off, my feel stuck to the floor.

"I've had a great time, I have enjoyed the show, to have been asked to go on it was amazing," he said. "To just have taken part, it's going to be lovely to look back and say 'I was on that show'."

He admitted his nerves got the better of him, and said he was surprised at how nervous he got each week.

"I've done shows for so many years and have been on stage, it kind of took me by surprise, but I suppose I was out of my comfort zone," he explained.

Fans from Ireland can't vote for Strictly Come Dancing contestants, but O'Donnell didn't feel that was a contributing factor to him leaving.

"I don't think there's any issue there at all, the show is based in the UK. If anything I suppose it would be unfair if one person from Ireland was in a show and everybody else was from the UK and all of the votes, or most of the votes [from Ireland] were going for me," he said.

Earlier in the week, Rihanoff blasted a report that claimed she'd branded O'Donnell "an old man" and said he was unlikely to win. She wrote on Twitter: "Everyone knows how much we enjoy working together! Rude journalism."

Talking about the incident, O'Donnell said: "What can you do, things are going to be written - it certainly didn't affect Kristina and myself at all, we just enjoyed learning the dance, doing the dances."

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