Susanna Reid has emerged as the new favourite to win the current series of Strictly Come Dancing after previous front-runner Sophie Ellis-Bextor was left bruised and battered following a fall during practice this week.
The singer suffered a tumble during an attempted lift with partner Brendan Cole, later admitting to feeling significant pain in her arm as well as bruising around one of her knees and an elbow as a result.
Despite this she remains available at 7/2 to win the show following a week of casualties among the remaining four stars competing for the top prize.
Ellis-Bextor’s close rival Abbey Clancy saw her preparations disrupted after an outbreak of flu forced professional partner Aljaz Skorjanec to sit out much of the practice ahead of this week’s semi-final.
Reid was also hit by a bug but remains steadfast in her pursuit of the dancing crown, explaining that she was a “bit croaky” but otherwise positive about her prospects for the contest ahead.
Nevertheless the outbreak of illness could play into the hands of former favourite Natalie Gumede who remains unscathed ahead of Saturday’s show and can be backed at 11/4 to win the show.
Patrick Robinson remains an outsider for victory at 33/1, but despite living up to this writer’s prediction that he would be the last male contestant left in the series, he now looks likely to exit next.
The Casualty star leads the betting in the 11th elimination market at 8/13 and though disappointing, an exit here is nothing to be ashamed off given the quality of competition on show.