Craig Revel Horwood stuns Strictly viewers with glowing praise for Joe McFadden

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Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood shocked the nation when he gave the glowing accolade of “I like you” to show hopeful Joe McFadden.

The Holby City star took to the Strictly stage for the first time on Saturday night’s opening show, performing a car wash-themed jive with partner Katya Jones.

It earned him a score of seven from the notoriously critical judge, which presenter Claudia Winkleman said was the first he had ever given for a celebrity’s first dance.

He brushed aside his usual de-brief of detailed notes and simply said: “I like you”, causing co-judge Darcey Bussell to pause from giving her own score out of shock.

Viewers at home were equally astonished, with Denise Guyett commenting on Twitter: “Aye what….what was that Craig….You liked them. OMG I almost fell off my chair. And a 7 from Craig in Week One…Who is this impostor?”

Tara Giles joked: “You ok hun,” while Frankly Frank joked: “Turned my fresh milk sour now.”

The tricky, fast-paced dance was memorably performed last year by Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton, securing them a series win.