Zara McDermott has spoken out after her exit from this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.
It was Zara McDermott and pro partner Graziano Di Prima who left Strictly on Sunday night in the traditional Halloween special.
Speaking after her departure, she said: “I have had the time of my life. Just to be here is incredible. Thank you to the judges and my amazing partner obviously.
“My fellow contestants are just incredible. It has been the most amazing experience. I can’t believe it’s over but I am going to be here in spirit every week supporting them.”
She continued, praising Graziano : “I wouldn’t even be here without this man, he has literally been there every single day for me, through all the tough moments and all the best moments I’m grateful we’re going to be friends forever.”
And Zara concluded: “I’ve had the time of my life, so thank you for having me.”
Graziano was then asked if he had any words for his partner, he said: “She has been great for me 8:00am till 21:00pm. Never stopping asking just for a half an hour break.
“She is literally what Strictly is all about. A real novice, coming in, putting all the hard job. You have such a good soul. You are so humble and I say thank you that I found a friend like you. I have learnt so much from you.
“And your hard work within six weeks. You have never danced before. I am so proud of you. So proud of you honestly. ”
Following their exit, nine celebs remain in the competition.
Celebrities confirmed for the 2023 Strictly Come Dancing cast include TV and theatre star Nigel Harman, Waterloo Road actor Adam Thomas, EastEnders star Bobby Brazier and theatre performer Layton Williams.
Joining them are newsreader Angela Rippon, actress Ellie Leach, tennis star and broadcaster Annabel Croft, The One Show host Angela Scanlon and journalist and broadcaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy.
Strictly airs on BBC One. Next week marks the half-way point of the competition and there will be a performance from Zara Larsson.
You can watch the series online via BBC iPlayer.