KARA Tointon wept with joy Saturday night after beating the odds to become Strictly Come Dancing champion, - thanks to a string of dazzling routines. The former EastEnders actress and her partner, Artem Chigvintsev, amazed the judges, earning their first 10 out of 10 of the series from Craig Revel Horwood. One Show presenter Matt Baker and his partner, Aliona Vilani, were runners-up despite going into the final as favourites to win the BBC1 show. After bursting into tears when the results were announced, Kara told show host Bruce Forsyth: "Winning this is the most special thing I have ever achieved." Then turning to Artem, who she is now going out with, she said: "I want to thank this man - he's been wonderful. I have made the most fantastic friend for life and it has been the most special experience of my life." But Kara, 28, added that she was "embarrassed" to have beaten Matt. After Kara's final routine, the American Smooth, Craig said: "I would kill to be able to dance like you." And earlier in the show he told her: "You are the best dancer I have ever seen on the competition." Fellow judge Alesha Dixon echoed his opinion saying: "You are the most exquisite dancer I've seen on the show." Popular Matt, 32, took his defeat on the chin, saying: "It has been a great experience and I thoroughly enjoyed tonight. "They are worthy winners without doubt and if I was at home I'd be voting for them." Earlier in the evening psychologist Pamela Stephenson and her partner James Jordan went out in third place despite getting the highest score from the judges in the first half of the final. Pamela, whose husband comedian Billy Connolly was in the audience, said taking part in the competition had been "the most joyful experience I have had for a very long time". The show also featured all the contestants from the rest of the series giving one last performance - including some trademark moves from former MP Ann Widdecombe. Mirror