Denise Van Outen defends Strictly's Natalie Gumede

Former 'Strictly Come Dancing' contestant Denise Van Outen has defended Natalie Gumede, who is on this year's series, insisting she is only criticised by fans because she's "good"

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Denise Van Outen

Denise Van Outen

Denise Van Outen has defended Natalie Gumede following criticism she has an unfair advantage on 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

The 'Coronation Street' actress has received backlash from fans who claim her previous dance training means she is more experienced than her fellow celebrity contestants on the BBC One dancing competition, however, Denise - who faced similar criticism last year - insists she is only being targeted because she's "good".

She told Yahoo! omg: "It's because she's good. But none of them have danced to that level before. You do need some good people and some terrible people - it wouldn't be good to watch if no one was good.

"I don't know Natalie's dance background but I genuinely hadn't danced since I was a kid and I'm nearly 40. If anyone tried it they would see how technical it is. It's totally different technically."

Since finishing as runner-up to Olympic gymnast Louis Smith on last year's series, Denise, 39, admits she watches 'Strictly' with a more watchful eye.

She added: "I am more critical now when I watch it. I'm so annoying when I watch it with friends; I'm like, 'That wasn't very good footwork!' "

The TV presenter is particularly impressed with singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor on this year's series.

She added: "I reckon Sophie Ellis-Bextor is putting the hours in, but there are a lot of good dancers this year."

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