Barbara Windsor turned down Strictly over health fears

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Barbara Windsor

Barbara Windsor

Barbara Windsor had to say no to starring on 'Strictly Come Dancing' because of her weakened immune system after contracting the Epstein-Barr virus.

Barbara Windsor turned down 'Strictly Come Dancing' over health fears.

The former 'EastEnders' star was forced to decline an offer to join the new series of the BBC One ballroom competition because of her long-standing battle with the Epstein-Barr virus, a common form of herpes which weakens the immune system and left her feeling fragile.

She told The Sun newspaper: "I have been asked to take part in 'Strictly' but have said no. I think I am at an age where I don't want to learn any more.

"I am really tough on myself and I would be a real perfectionist about trying to get the dance moves right. I also have to take it easy because of getting the Epstein-Barr virus."

The 76-year-old actress explained she first contracted the virus in 2003 because she was working like crazy on 'EastEnders' and had to be given a year off at the time to focus on her health.

Barbara said: "The reason that I got ill was because I wouldn't listen to anyone and it was also the pace. I always tend to work like it's my first day.

"That is because I am a workaholic. I am terrible and every line has got to be word-perfect."

Meanwhile, pop star Sophie Ellis-Bextor, TV presenter Vanessa Feltz, glamour model Abbey Clancy and Hairy Biker chef Dave Myers are set to star on the upcoming 'Strictly' series.

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