Mark Foster is one of the most successful British swimmers of all time, with a great start at the age of fifteen, when he was already the fastest swimmer in the country at that time. He specialises in butterfly and freestyle in the short course events, and won his first international medal with the relay team in the 100m freestyle event of the Edinburgh Commonwealth gaves of 1986, and his first individual international medal in the Commonwealth Games in 1990, held in Auckland, with a bronze medal in the 50m freestyle event. He has broken the World Short Course freestyle record four times, the World Short Course butterfly record twice and in 1996, set the World Long Course butterfly record. Although he has won medals at European, Commonwealth and World Championships, he has never managed to win an Olympic medal, and despite retiring from the sport in 2006, he returned in 2007 in a bid to try for a medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 at the age of 38, and during the Opening Ceremony he was the flagbearer for Team GB, but he was unsuccessful in his attempt to win the elusive Olympic medal. Mark has recently appeared in ITV's "Beat The Star" as well as the rejuventated "Superstars" currently being broadcast on Five, where he is a member of Mike Catt's team.

Mark competed in the sixth series of Strictly Come Dancing, where he was been teamed up with professional dancer Hayley Holt. Mark & Hayley started the competition with a Waltz, but being a sportsman, Mark found the performance aspect of the dance difficult to achieve. Additionally, being so tall Mark was used to coming down to other people's level instead of standing tall leading the judges to comment on his posture during the dance. The Olympian garnered public support in the first week though, and came back with another ballroom routine, this time a Tango, but again struggled with getting into the character of the dance, leaving him in the bottom two. The judges voted to save him, and Hayley now had the struggle of teaching him latin, which as the judges are always reminding us, is difficult for tall people to dance and is better suited to short, compact people. Public support kept them in the competition again (possibly due to the fishnet shirt!), and their next dance was the Paso doble. After all he'd been through, a fast latin dance which required a dramatic performance and a strong attitude was never going to suit Mark, and the couple found themselves at the bottom of the leader board and in the dance-off. The judges decided not to save them this time, and the couple finished eleventh out of sixteen couples.


Strictly Come Dancing

Week Dance Song Judges scores Total
1 Waltz Tennessee Waltz 3 6 7 6 22
3 Tango Tanguera 5 5 7 7 24
5 Samba Spice Up Your Life 3 4 5 5 17
6 Paso doble Since You've Been Gone 2 3 6 5 16


Week 1 - Waltz


Week 3 - Tango


Week 5 - Samba


Week 6 - Paso Doble