ANDOVER'S Katie Piper became the third celebrity to be eliminated from Strictly Come Dancing this weekend, after her fourth dance of the primetime competition.

The TV presenter and acid attack survivor found herself in the bottom two, alongside Casualty actor Charles Venn following the public vote.

Katie and her partner Gorka Marquez danced their jive to Why Do Fools Fall In Love by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers in the dance-off, while Venn and Karen Clifton repeated their salsa to Use It Up And Wear It Out by Odyssey.

However, all four judges opted to keep Venn and Clifton in the competition, with Dame Darcey Bussell saying theirs was the "stronger performance".

Katie, who came bottom of the leaderboard on Saturday night with 18 points, said: "I have taken a lot from this experience and it has all been really positive, and I'll never forget this journey.

"Charles was the better dancer out of us two and there are some brilliant dancers in this competition and sadly I don't think I was one of them.

"But I have had a great experience you know, and I feel really privileged to have been here and thanks for your advice and thank you [Gorka] for all the hours.

"One thing as well all the public not just the audience here but the general public have been so supportive online and have voted for me the other weeks so I feel thrilled to have been here for four weeks. So thank you to everyone."

Katie's exit from the competition comes days after Stefan Sylvestre, the man who threw acid over her 10 years ago leaving her with life-changing injuries, was released from prison.

Sylvestre was given a life sentence in 2009 for the attack - arranged by her obsessive ex-boyfriend Daniel Lynch - and was told he must serve a minimum of six years before he would be eligible for parole.

He was reportedly released from a jail in Suffolk on Wednesday.

Gorka told Katie: "Thank you, for being such a wonderful human because you know everyone knows how much you have been through and everything but to get the chance to know you and be working with you and get to know how strong you are, how always wanting to be better and improve.

"For me that's my lesson and what I learnt from you."

Taking to social media on Sunday night, Katie had a message after her exit was announced, saying: "Guys my Strictly journey is officially over. I think it was the right decision. I wasn't the best dancer in the competition but I did have so much fun and to get to week four, I didn't expect to get that far so thank you to you that voted for me and supported me on social media. I really appreciate it and it was great to be able to have all those dances.

"Who I was on week one was so different to how I felt last night, and I feel so privileged to have been part of that journey and have that progress.

"Big thank you to the BBC and everyone at Strictly. All the judges, the contestants, production, for such a great experience. I’m never ever going to forget this.

"Even though I'm not on the show, I've not left the Strictly family. I'm going to be watching every Saturday as I can't wait to see who wins."

Katie's exit may have also raised eyebrows, as comedian Seann Walsh and his dance partner Katya Jones were the top choice to leave following their kiss scandal.

Bookmakers including Coral and William Hill said the controversial couple prompted fresh bets from punters, and were the favourites to waltz away from the dancefloor.

Coral said that the "public uproar" over their illicit kiss - which they both apologised for after being pictured in The Sun - made them 5/4 favourites to be eliminated on Sunday.

William Hill said they were at 1/3 odds of being in the bottom two, with 11/8 odds to leave the show.

However, Walsh and Jones were awarded the fourth highest score by the judges on Saturday, with 28 points for their Charleston.

That, combined with votes from the public, has kept them in the BBC One show for at least another week.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 6.45pm on BBC One.