Strictly fans in tears as Annabel Croft dances a tear-jerking tribute to late husband

Annabel Croft, the former tennis champ, performed a touching couple's choice dance on Strictly Come Dancing in memory of her late husband.

Her husband, Mel Coleman, sadly passed away from cancer at 60 years old in May, just 16 weeks after being diagnosed.

Before her performance, Annabel took her dance partner Johannes Radebe to Richmond Park, a place she used to visit with her late husband. She danced gracefully to Wings by Birdy, wearing a beautiful flowing dress and earned a score of 35.

Judge Shirley Ballas praised: "I thought that was graceful, that was charming… It was just divine." Anton Du Beke added his thoughts, saying that while judges often focus on specific movements, "sometimes it doesn't matter about all that, sometimes it's just about dancing and when there's reason for it, it's just perfect, and this was perfect".

Craig Revel Horwood described it as a "beautiful story beautifully executed", while Motsi Mabuse said it was her "best dance" so far.

Fans took to X, formally known as Twitter, and praised the performance which had many of them "sobbing". One fan said: "the ending of annabel and johannes’ dance had me sobbing, what a beautiful tribute", while another said: "Having lost my dear husband in similar circumstances to Annabelle, watching this had me in bits. It was beautiful."

A third added: "shirley’s got her tissues out, me and you both mate. that was incredibly emotional, annabel and johannes that was perfect!", while another added: "Think we’re all crying with you Annabel x".

To start off Saturday's show, actor Layton Williams showed off quick footwork, a pirouette and an aerial cartwheel to earn a score of 36 the highest scoring jive of the series so far. He and his partner Nikita Kuzmin wore matching sparkly outfits and danced to Shake Your Body by SHY FX & T Power feat Di.

Shirley praised one of the most difficult dances as "absolutely outstanding". Anton agreed to a point, but felt his kicks got a "little heavy" towards the end, adding: "Great but not your best."

Angela Rippon and her partner Kai Widdrington delivered an elegant waltz for their routine. Dressed in a blue dress with a sparkly bodice, they danced to Fascination by Nat King Cole and scored 28. Anton said she was "beautiful and elegant", but noted the routine was "a little abrupt" as her side steps were not wide enough.

Craig added that her footwork was "a little wobbly" and Mabuse encouraged her to push herself more.

Actor Nigel Harman and his partner Katya Jones brought the heat to the dance floor with a passionate tango. They danced to Nothing Breaks Like A Heart by Mark Robson and Miley Cyrus, securing a score of 33.

Craig said he felt the actor picked his feet up "too much" and that the routine "lacked drama".

However, Motsi disagreed as she insisted that she saw the drama throughout, while Ballas felt he brought his "A game" this week.

Angela Scanlon performed an energetic samba to Ain't It Funny by Jennifer Lopez on Strictly and scored 27.

The Irish TV star wore a red flamenco-style dress with a black corset and detailing while her partner Carlos Gu sported a black and white polka dot shirt.

After her performance, Angela confessed that the dance pushed her boundaries as dressing up in a sexy way is "frowned upon" in her hometown Ratoath.

Motsi praised her lines and personality but pointed out that her upper body was leaning too far back, which affected some of her other movements. Criag also observed that her top and bottom halves were "disconnected", but he thought her energy was "incredible".

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