Craig Revel Horwood returns to Strictly ballroom after positive Covid test

The judge was back with his customary sharp comments.

Craig Revel Horwood has returned to the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel after he was absent last week following a positive Covid test.

Guest judge Cynthia Erivo, who filled in for him last week, has also returned to take the seat of Motsi Mabuse, who has been contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

Mabuse previously said she had been informed she had been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and would normally be exempt from isolation because she is double vaccinated and has had a booster, but her German vaccines are not recognised in the UK.

Opening the show on Saturday night, host Claudia Winkleman said: “Welcome back Craig, we missed you.

“And on the subject of missing judges, sadly Motsi can’t be with us this weekend because she has been notified by NHS track and trace.

“Government guidelines mean she cannot travel back to the UK until next week.”

Soap star Rose Ayling-Ellis and partner Giovanni Pernice were first to take to the floor with a paso doble to a dramatic rendition of California Dreamin’ by The Mamas & The Papas.

Head judge Shirley Ballas told her: “What a way to open the show, you are a class act.

“You are not resting on any laurels of what you have done before, you are bringing it week in and week out.”

Anton Du Beke added: “I thought it was marvellous, your work is so clean, your intensity is good, I just love watching you dance.”

Revel Horwood, proved his absence has not weakened his tough stance, saying he thought her performance was “a little upright and stiff”.

Addressing her in sign language, Erivo told Ayling-Ellis: “I think you are fierce, it was wonderful, you have this power in you.”

They were given a total score of 33.

BBC Breakfast star Dan Walker performed a rumba with partner Nadiya Bychkova to Desperado by Eagles.

Du Beke and Erivo both described it as “gorgeous”, but Revel Horwood said: “It was jolty, the hip action was non-existent.

“You wiggled your hips, anyone can do that. You were marching it and stomping.

“However, I thought it was a lot better than I had expected, I can see you have been working extremely hard and I will give you an extra point for that.”

Ballas disagreed with Revel Horwood, saying: “You were classic and cool as a very tall cucumber.”

They were given a total score of 31.

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