BBC Strictly fans left distracted after sighting Hollywood megastar in live audience
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Strictly Come Dancing viewers did a double take when they saw someone who closely resembled Loki actor Tom Hiddleston, and took to Twitter (also known as X) to ask if their hunches were correct. “Wow I knew Tom Hiddleston liked strictly but I didn’t expect him to be in the audience!” one exclaimed.

Another quizzed: “Am I dreaming or was that Tom Hiddleston in the #Strictly audience?!” Some observant fans also spotted his Fresh Meat actress girlfriend Zawe Ashton sitting alongside him.

The pair looked thrilled to be part of the audience, grinning broadly as they clapped the four remaining couples’ electrifying performances. Tom has made no secret of his passion for Strictly, even telling Zoe Ball on her BBC Radio 2 show that his eyes are glued to “extraordinary” Ellie Leach.

Tonight the former Coronation Street dressed up as Belle from Beauty and the Beast, while her pro partner Vito Coppola took on the guise of her admirer Gaston – and Shirley was so impressed that she suggested she had a future in West End theatre. It looks as if Tom might agree, having told Zoe: “It’s been difficult to determine who is going to go all the way this year [but] I think Ellie is maybe the most improved. She’s extraordinary, pretty amazing!”

Head judge Shirley Ballas exclaimed after her routine this evening: “The West End might have found a new Belle!” Then Anton du Beke joked that he knew all about the Beauty and the Beast fairytale, thanks to the enthusiasm of his six-year-old twins.

Meanwhile, for some, unexpectedly spotting 42-year-old Tom and 39-year-old Zawe in the audience had turned out to be the ultimate fairytale, with fans admitting they were “utterly distracted”.

He could be seen clapping appreciatively during the opening number and provided some excitement amid the disappointing news that there’d be no viewer vote this weekend.

Nigel Harman, 50, pulled out just hours before today’s show, citing an injury and meaning that he and pro partner Katya Jones, 34, have come to the end of their Strictly dream.

Poor Nigel eerily appeared to predict his own fate when he joked that it would be a miracle if he was “still standing” after the show, confiding to Fleur East on It Takes Two: “This week, St John’s ambulance are on standby!”

He added of his dance: “There’s leaps, there’s carries and we’re flying around and I end up needing oxygen every time I do it. It’s full on but it’s exciting.”

However, his big night on stage was not to be, as Claudia Winkleman confirmed to fans: “We only have four couples. Unfortunately, Nigel has suffered an injury which means he is unable to perform in tonight’s show and has had to withdraw from the competition.

“That means there will be no public vote tonight, and no elimination this weekend!”

All four couples – Ellie and Vito, tennis champ Annabel Croft and Johannes Radebe, Bad Education star Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin and of course EastEnders star Bobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell have now automatically landed themselves a place in the semi-final.

The stars will be breathing a huge sigh of relief that no-one will be in the dreaded dance-off this weekend – but the competition will heat up against next Saturday at 7:25pm on BBC One.

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