Darcey Bussell to encourage on Strictly panel

Darcey Bussell wants contestants to "enjoy themselves" when she joins the panel of 'Strictly Come Dancing'

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Darcey Bussell

Darcey Bussell

Darcey Bussell wants contestants to "enjoy themselves" on 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

The ballerina is replacing Alesha Dixon on the judging panel - following a stint as a guest judge in 2009 - and insists she will encourage competing stars rather than dish out put-downs.

Speaking at the launch of the new Sanctuary Spa Active Reverse skin care range, Darcey said: "I'm looking forward to helping the dancers to find their strengths and build on them. I want to see them enjoying themselves!"

"My advice would be for them to be themselves and not try to be someone else when they're dancing."

"It's very important that the dancers listen to and learn the music, it will really help get the steps inside their heads."

Darcey is recognised as being one of the best English ballerinas of all time with a career at the Royal Ballet - where she roe to the post of Principal Dancer - but her appointment to 'Strictly' is proving controversial, with a backlash against her appointment shortly after it was announced.

Penzz said via twitter: "No personality or bite. Not someone I'm going to tune in for."

Shanc1978 added: "She lacked impact, no personality. Too nicey nice and I don't think we'll gain anything from her."

Another user, Imakesense said: "Not sure she will have enough personality to make an impact"

However, some rushed to Darcey's defence, with Gowoman tweeting: "Finally! Someone who not only knows about dancing but is able to articulate herself as well."

BBC One spokesperson Danny Cohen said: "Darcey has all the experience and credentials to deliver meaningful and insightful critiques. She's a huge fan of the show and a fantastic addition to the Strictly family."

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