All-female Strictly final under way

Susanna Reid, Natalie Gumede and Abbey ClancySusanna Reid, Natalie Gumede and Abbey Clancy are Strictly’s final three

Three hopefuls are battling it out for the Strictly Come Dancing glitterball trophy in the first all-female final.

Model Abbey Clancy, actress Natalie Gumede and newsreader Susanna Reid are in the running to win the show’s eleventh series.

Singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor was eliminated at the start of the second part of the evening’s show, leaving the other three to dance one more time.

BBC Breakfast presenter Reid is favourite with bookmakers to win.

Ballroom success would make her the third presenter from the show to triumph, following Natasha Kaplinsky in the first series and sports host Chris Hollins, who won in 2009.

The contestants made a dazzling entrance, wearing red gowns, as they took part in a group dance in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

Reid was the first finalist to take the floor, dancing a quickstep that was met with a positive response by the judges.

Reid’s professional partner, Kevin Clifton, is appearing in his first series of the programme.

Susanna ReidBBC Breakfast presenter Susanna Reid, 42, is the bookies’ favourite to win with William Hill offering 6-5 odds on her taking the glitterball trophy

Abbey ClancyModel and presenter Abbey Clancy, 27, is married to footballer Peter Crouch. She is one of two to enter the final with a perfect 40/40 score under her belt

Natalie GumedeActress Natalie Gumede, 29, is best known for playing Kirsty Soames in soap Coronation Street and scored a perfect 40/40 for her salsa in week 12

Sophie Ellis-BextorSinger Sophie Ellis-Bextor, 34, is the daughter of former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis. She has not faced a dance-off in the series

Slovenian dancer Aljaz Skorjanec, partner to model and TV presenter Clancy, is also competing in Strictly for the first time.

The pair were second to take the dance floor, and their waltz received a perfect score of 40.



Colin Paterson with the Strictly Come Dancing finalists

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Colin Paterson speaks to the finalists backstage at the Strictly studio in Elstree

Russian-born professional dance Artem Chigvintsev won with actress Kara Tointon in his first season on the show in 2010 and is paired with former Coronation Street star Gumede in his bid for a second title.

In their first performance they scored 39 points dancing a cha cha to Boney M’s song Rasputin.

Brendan Cole, who is dancing with singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor, held the trophy aloft with Kaplinsky, but has not won another series since.

The judges scored them a near perfect 39 points for their Viennese waltz to My Favourite Things by Julie Andrews.



Strictly Come Dancing wardrobe department

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Costume designer Vicky Gill and her team in the wardrobe department for Strictly Come Dancing

All four couples performed two dances in the first half of Saturday night’s grand finale, comprising of their own and the judges’ favourite performance from across the series.

The final will be determined entirely by public votes and the judges’ scores will not count towards the final outcome.

The second half of the programme – including the results – is being broadcast from 20:40 GMT to 21:50.

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