Denise Van Outen takes Strictly time off

Denise Van Outen has taken some time off from 'Strictly Come Dancing' following the death of her granddad Steven earlier this week

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Denise Van Outen

Denise Van Outen

Denise Van Outen is taking time out from 'Strictly Come Dancing' rehearsals due to the death of her granddad.

The 38-year-old star - who is partnered with James Jordan on the show - has been "hit really hard" by the death of her grandfather Steven Matthews on Tuesday (25.09.12) and 'Strictly' bosses have told her to take off as much time as she needs prior to the first live show next week.

A source told the Sunday Mirror newspaper: "She was so close to her grandfather, and his death has hit her really hard. But she is determined to try to carry on in the show. She'll be dancing for him when the programme begins."

Steven had been ill for some time prior to his death, and Denise revealed she was often in her native Essex visiting him.

She said: "I am always back in Basildon to see my family. It is a bit sad because my granddad is not very well in hospital so we're visiting all the time."

Denise is not the only star of this year's 'Strictly' to take some time off - Fern Britton delayed her rehearsals by a few days and Michael Vaughan's prior work commitments meant he could not start at the same time as everyone else.

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