Emma Barton has paid a touching tribute to her Strictly Come Dancing partner Anton du Beke, following Saturday night's exciting final. The EastEnders actress shared a photo of the final three couples, along with a snapshot showing her posing backstage with Anton, as she reflected on her time in the show. Emma, 42, wrote: "Thank you @bbcstrictly for giving me this incredible experience… one I shall never forget. Thank you all for voting & supporting mine & @mrantondubeke journey. I can't tell you how much joy you have given me. The love has been mind blowing. My beautiful parents… family & friends. I couldn't have done this without you… To my fellow cast & pros of Class 19… I LOVE YOU ALL DEARLY! The whole ream Wardrobe, Hair, Make up, Band, Singers, Crew, Runners, Producers, @tessdaly &@claudiawinkleman & all the judges! I'm in love with you all. Finally congratulations to the amazing @otimabuse & @kelvinfletcher for the much deserved win… Our champions. Now to rest those trotters for a bit…"
Emma's touching post was met with messages of support and congratulations from fans. Host Tess was among those to reply, simply writing, "YOU STAR," along with three love heart emojis. Johannes Radebe wrote, "Simply incredible," while the TV actress also received a message from the official EastEnders account, which read: "Everyone at #EastEnders is so proud of you @theemmabarton! You were incredible." Amy Dowden shared a series of love hearts, fellow EastEnders star Rita Simons wrote, "Well done you amazing thing!", while Steps star Ian H Watkins added, "YOU ARE MY QUEEN! XX."
Anton, 53, has also broken his silence following Saturday's show. Sharing a picture of himself dancing with Emma, the pro dancer wrote: "Ah, we came so very close!!! What a tremendous #StrictlyFinal winners: @kelvin_fletcher & @OtiMabuse danced magnificently - not just last night, but every single week! First class performances for a top class final - congratulations!!!
Strictly 2019 has been the most wonderful experience, quite simply because of @TheEmmaBarton - my Strictly Queen of Ballroom, my Grand Finalist, my dance partner… my friend. Emma put her heart & soul into every dance, each a pure joy to perform with her. She's my winner!"
He continued: "Extra special thanks to everyone who voted for us, supported us, and cheered us on along the way! Your votes kept us dancing week on week, right to the very end, and have meant the world to us! I so hope you've enjoyed our dances as much as we have. Huge thanks for all your encouragement, appreciation and kind words, my loves - you're the best! Anton XX."
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