FORMER Redditch MP Jacqui Smith has thanked the BBC for giving her the ‘adventure of a lifetime’ following her elimination on Strictly Come Dancing.
The former Labour Home Secretary was the first celebrity to depart the competition’s dance floor on Sunday night.
She faced Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing in the dance-off but failed to impress the judges or secure the public vote.
Ms Smith, aged 57, with her dance partner Anton De Beke, scored only 25 points across two weeks of live shows.
They performed a samba to Help Yourself by Tom Jones while reality star Jamie, 31, and Karen Hauer, 38, danced to Frank Sinatra’s Night and Day.
Ms Smith said: “I’ve had the greatest adventure it’s possible to imagine.
“I’m just sorry I can’t continue it with this man who has been absolutely fantastic and gorgeous to be with.
“But I don’t feel too much shame in losing to these guys because they are a fantastic bunch of dancers – they really are.
“So I’ll be watching you and supporting you.”
Ms Smith added her thanks to Anton for turning her ‘into a dancer’.
“To Anton I would like to say you have been just an absolute joy to be with. I am so pleased and proud to have spent this time with you.
“And to everybody on the programme I don’t think people realise just how brilliant the team is that put this programme together and if ever we need Strictly, we need it now so thank you so much.”