EastEnders star Maisie Smith was reduced to tears in the latest episode of Strictly Come Dancing this evening (November 28).
The soap actor, from Westcliff-on-Sea, has endured a tough few episodes of the hit BBC show.
She had found herself in the bottom two for two weeks in a row and desperately wanted to avoid making it a hattrick.
To raise her spirits before their performance, dance partner Gorka Marquez showed the 19-year-old a video message from pupils at her former school, Belfairs Academy in Leigh.
But that wasn’t the only special message Maisie received.
After wowing the judges with her dancing, the actor was lost for words when being interviewed by Claudia Winkleman.
Then she was nearly reduced to tears when the host surprised her with a message from her granddad.
He said: “Hello Maise I just wanted to say how proud I am of you watching you dance – especially in those high heels because I only ever see you in trainers.
“I just don’t know how you do it. You’re a little gem and I miss you so much.
“I can’t wait to see you. Good luck!”
Prior to tonight’s show, Maisie was forced to speak out after negative comments from some viewers, with people accusing her of being “cocky” and suggesting they couldn’t warm to her.
Many viewers suggested this might have been the reason why she had been in the bottom two for two weeks in a row.
But others raced to support the teenager on Saturday night, reminding others of her age – and her skills as a dancer.
Maisie herself spoke out this week, saying her “cocky” attitude was in fact nerves.
Her mum also urged people to remember she is only young, revealing she is “vulnerable and nervous” behind the scenes.
As Maisie stepped out for another week, she put all the drama behind her and enjoyed a little dance with Gorka.
Born and raised in Westcliff-on-Sea, the actress lives with her mother Julia, father Stephen and sister Scarlett.
The family still live together just down the road in Leigh-on-Sea, where her family supports her on Strictly.
Maisie attended Belfairs Academy in Leigh, the Sandra Singer Stage School, and South Essex College where she studied musical theatre.
The 19-year-old star first began her acting career at the tender age of five, where she appeared as young Queen Elizabeth I in the historical drama, The Other Boleyn Girl. Soon after, she took on an iconic role in EastEnders.