Mike Bushell breaks silence on Strictly exit to deny being desperate to leave

Mike Bushell has spoken out against reports he was "desperate" to leave Strictly Come Dancing .

The BBC sports presenter was said to be "relieved" after being sent packing by the judges on last night's result show.

But he says that couldn't be further from the truth.

Mike, who face a dance off with Michelle Visage alongside his partner Katya, says he's gutted that he didn't make it to Blackpool.

But he's delighted he lasted long enough to be added to the line-up for the live tour.

Mike said in a statement released to Mirror Online: "This is so far from the truth, it is a complete fabrication and without any foundation.

"I’ve loved every second of my Strictly journey, it the best show ever and I was really hoping to be competing in Blackpool and beyond.

"I’m gutted to be out but at the same time wanted to leave with head held high and gracious in defeat.

"When I was eliminated I wanted to celebrate the journey I’d been on, and the fact that I’m so excited to be doing the tour shows that I want my Strictly journey to go on."

It was reported that Mike, who was in the bottom two for the fourth this this weekend, had told friends he was glad it was all over.

The star had a rough time on social media, with people lashing out when he was repeatedly saved by the judges.

He even received death threats as people told him to leave the contest for good.

His wife Emily was even forced to defend him after the "shocking" level of abuse that was thrown at him.

Despite having a hard time on the BBC show, Mike has vowed to keep dancing.

Mike, 53, said: "I’d encourage anyone to take up dancing.

"Emily and I would like to join a salsa class. And my mum and dad are talking about getting some ballroom lessons – she’s 77 and he’s 81."

Paying tribute, to Katya, 30, he said: "I can't tell you the dedication she puts in. She’d make the greatest sporting coach ever. She makes you believe anything is possible.

"She hasn't taken it easy on me. We had difficult routines."

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