Strictly’s Nikita Kuzmin and Ellie Simmonds mock judges’ comments as they break silence on ‘illegal lift’ drama


STRICTLY star Nikita Kuzmin and his celeb partner Ellie Simmonds appeared to poke fun at the judges’ recent comments about their ‘illegal lift’ on the show.

The Ukrainian dancer and the Paralympic swimming champ wowed viewers at the weekend, as they danced to the theme tune from The Apprentice, to celebrate the BBC’s centenary.

Janette Manrara mocked Craig Revel Horwood’s voice

Nikita and Ellie defended their ‘illegal lift’

But despite scoring 30 points for their performance, the feedback came with critique.

Head judge Shirley Ballas decided to deduct a point for an ‘illegal lift’ during their routine, and co-judge Craig Revel Horwood agreed, and criticised the move.

Strictly fans didn’t appear to agree with judge comments, and Nikita then sparked concern as he failed to join the pro dancers and celebrities alongside Claudia Winkleman in between performances.

Tonight, appearing on BBC Two spin off It Takes Two, the pair finally addressed the lift and said they’d still have done it, despite what judges had to say.

Host Janette Manrara began the conversation as she said: “Now we’ve got to talk about it, as it has been quite the controversial subject – the lift.”

Nikita explained: “I love the fact that it was illegal,” as he mocked Craig’s voice.

He continued: “To be honest, I am always trying to create choreography around Ellie, and my goal for this week was to create a lot of drama.

“To be fair about the lift, my only goal is to get Ellie down safely and in a spectacular manner.”

Ellie then chimed in: “Safety first, safety first.”

Nikita continued: “If that’s the only thing that keeps us away from a 10, I can live with it.”

Ellie said it was “amazing” to hear viewers were on their side, and said they’d “still have kept it in” despite the comments.

It comes after Ellie admitted she has definitely found the exhaustive training sessions a little much, so much so that Nikita filmed her two weeks ago having a hysterical laughing fit as she lay on the floor while trying to correct her posture.

Speaking to, Ellie admitted training was “tougher than expected” and said: “We’re training like 9am until 6pm… we’re pushing our bodies – I’m aching all over. You can see I’ve got a massive bruise there.”

She joked that some of the bruises were from her “being a bit clumsy”, but added: “I think the body, and just the tiredness and the exhaustion… I’ve been giving everything to Strictly. I’m feeling muscles that I’ve never felt before.”

Strictly It Takes Two returns every weekday on BBC2.

The lift occurred during the recent show as they danced to The Apprentice theme song

Nikita said it’s all about ‘safety first’