22 JANUARY 2009

No wonder her smile sparkled almost as brightly as the sequins on her costume. Strictly runner-up Rachel Stevens has been reprising her rivalry with dance floor champion Tom Chambers – and cha cha-ed off with the top prize.

The re-run of last series' thrilling final came during the show's live tour, in which previous twinkled-toed contenders such as Jill Halfpenny, champion of series two, and Jodie Kidd, are joining the pair for performances across Britain.

Rachel lost out in the last series despite being thought a more gifted dancer than Holby City actor Tom.

But when the public sent in text message votes on their sizzling routines in Newcastle on the tour's opening night she was voted the clear winner. And the shine of her victory still hadn't worn off by the time she sashayed into Manchester a few days later on Wednesday.

"It was great to beat Tom!" enthused the beauty, who was once again partnered with Italian hunk Vincent Simone.

Photo: Getty Images
The former S Club 7 singer and her professional partner Vincent Simone won the votes of the public on the first night of the show's live tour - and have been smiling ever since
Photo: Getty Images
Rachel, the runner-up last series, beat her rival Tom, who is the 2008 champion, into fifth place when previous contenders gathered for the performance
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