This year's Strictly Come Dancing couples will take to the floor on Saturday for their debut performances, knowing from this point on someone will be sent home every week.

In the show's 21 series, there have been numerous shock exits - not just the celebrities the judges have booted off the programme.

Judges have departed as have pro dancers, and even the presenters have seen a line-up change when original host Sir Bruce Forsyth formally stepped down from hosting the live show in April 2014.

A new survey has now revealed the most shocking exit in the show's lengthy history was the departure of JLS star Aston Merrygold.

He was partnered with Janette Manrara and reached week seven of the competition, but lost out to Mollie King and AJ Pritchard in the dreaded dance-off. That series was eventually won by Holby City actor Joe McFadden who was partnered with Katya Jones.

The survey, conducted by Betfair Casino saw 18 per cent of respondents deem this the biggest shock, even beating Arlene Phillips departing as a judge in 2008, which 11 per cent of the people questioned voted into second place.

Although it was 15 years ago Arlene recently recalled how she struggled with being axed from the show.

"I gave myself 48 hours to kick, scream, cry and sob, and eat scones with cream and jam, then I made myself wake up and get on with it," she said.

In joint second place also with 11 per cent of the vote was Peter Andre's exit in 2015, with his departure deemed "shocking as he was so popular in the beginning".

The Mysterious Girl singer found himself in the week 10 dance-off with EastEnders' Linda Carter actress Kellie Bright.

Unfortunately, his American Smooth with pro partner Janette wasn't deemed good enough to beat Kellie and Kevin Clifton's salsa.

That season was eventually won by The Wanted's Jay McGuiness who was teamed with Aliona Vilani.

The rest of the top five consisted of Holby City star Chizzy Akudolu's week two exit from the show in 2017, despite having a healthy score on the leaderboard, with 10 per cent of people voting for that moment.

Finally, despite the question being about exits, also with 10 per cent, joint third and the last place in the top five went to Alesha Dixon being made a judge.

Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC One on Saturday at 6.15pm.

2023-09-21T16:35:37Z dg43tfdfdgfd