Natasha Kaplinksy: I was forced into Strictly Come Dancing

Natasha Kaplinsky initially declined the chance to appear on 'Strictly Come Dancing' in 2004 but felt forced into agreeing to star on the show because show bosses kept pestering her

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Natasha Kaplinksy

Natasha Kaplinksy

Natasha Kaplinsky insists she was "completely forced" into appearing on 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

The 40-year-old broadcaster - who won the first series of the BBC One show in 2004 - initially turned down the chance to appear on the competition for fear of it ruining her career as a newsreader, but after politely declining the offer bosses kept pestering her to take part.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror newspaper, she said: "I got completely forced and put into a corner at the BBC.

"I'd just started at 'BBC Breakfast' and obviously the bosses at 'Strictly' had a shopping list and a newsreader was on it and I was their easiest target.

"I honestly tried every single excuse not to do it, but I was cajoled and in the end I ran out of excuses. I was absolutely petrified.

"It's not easy to be a female in the journalistic world.

"I worked very hard to get to the BBC and I felt really concerned that 'Strictly Come Dancing' was going to change how people would perceive me and to a certain degree it did."

The brunette beauty admits she didn't feel comfortable squeezing into tight revealing costumes and swinging her legs about on the dance floor because it took her out of her comfort zone and plunged her into the spotlight, which she wasn't happy with.

She explained: "I felt very self-conscious about putting on sequinned clothes and performing, because that wasn't my job.

"My job wasn't about me, it was about the news, so to suddenly put myself in the middle of the dance floor on a Saturday night was insane - I was the most nervous I have ever been in my life."

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