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Simon Duke

Strictly's Nikita Kuzmin and Ellie Simmonds reject 'illegal' move accusations as 'point deducted'

Nikita Kuzmin is maintaining his defiant stance against accusations he and Ellie Simmonds performed an 'illegal' lift on Saturday night's Strictly Come Dancing.

The popular pro,. who partnered Tilly Ramsay last year and Paralympic swimming champion Ellie have proved to be a really popular pairing on Strictly's new series, with then yet to fall into the bottom two. On Saturday night, they and the rest of the remaining couples each performed a routine to a song from a famous BBC programme, in honour of the broadcaster's 100th birthday. Ellie and Nikita performed a paso doble to The Apprentice theme and, while they received largely positive feedback from the judges, notoriously hard to please panellist Craig Revel-Horwood and head judge Shirley Ballas took exception to one of the lifts.

Shirley told the couple; "I only have one little complaint. I do, I'm so sorry. I do have to deduct one point for an assisted lift at the beginning because that's not allowed. But other than that you were absolutely phenomenal." Being harsher on them, Craig branded the move "illegal."

READ MORE: Karen Hauer gives Strictly fans glimpse of 'rarely seen' husband

Nikita and Ellie were quizzed on the accusations when they joined ex Strictly pro Janette Manrara on Wednesday's edition of It Takes Two, with Nikita telling her: ""I love the fact Craig said it's illegal. But to be honest, I'm always trying to create the choreography around Ellie and my goal for this week was to create a lot of drama."

He continued: ""But to be fair about the lift, my only goal is to get Ellie down safely, in a spectacular manner," with Ellie interrupting: "He's thinking of safety first!"

Defending himself further, Nikita added: "Safety and in a spectacular manner. But honestly Janette if that's the only thing which keeps us away from a 10, I can live with that," to which Ellie replied: "We've said this week that we'd still keep it in there, even though with Craig saying it's illegal."

This Saturday, Ellie and Nikita will perform a Foxtrot to the Scooby Doo theme for Halloween Week.


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