The end of the affair: Last waltz for John Sergeant

An estimated 10 million people tuned in last night to witness the end of an infatuation. Unlikely screen idol John Sergeant waltzed off Strictly Come Dancing to the strain of Norah Jones's "Come Away With Me", bringing to an almost elegant end a drama that has seen the BBC bombarded with viewer complaints.

Leading article: Stepping down

Saturday nights will not be the same. John Sergeant has quit Strictly Come Dancing. Though his footwork was, to say the least, questionable, popular votes kept him in the competition while better dancers fell away. This led to anger from judges and competitors alike, for which Sergeant has paid a heavy price. The show is now left with a gap which must be filled immediately if the series is to keep momentum and maintain its competitive personality. A challenger must therefore be found to fill the former ITV political editor's left-footed shoes.

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Sergeant's decision to resign from<i> Strictly </i>sparks fury among voting viewers

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/11/the-day-sergie.html">Andy McSmith: The Day Sergie won Tony Blair an Ovation</a>

I won't stop watching Strictly Come Dancing now that John Sergeant has pulled out, because I never watched it in the first place, but in a funny sort of way I shall miss opening the newspapers every day to read yet another angle on the story of how the viewing public loves Sergie. I suppose he is lovable, from a distance.

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Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said today that he "would love to be asked" to fill John Sergeant's shoes on Strictly Come Dancing.

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It can't go on, declare the judges every week. But every week, the veteran political correspondent, his glamorous Siberian dance partner and the British public defy them.

John Sergeant: The happy hoofer

His paso doble may be a bit wonky, but John Sergeant's self-deprecation will win him a whole new television career. David Randall reports

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