Strictly Come Dancing’s Denise Van Outen has hit back at criticism that she is too experienced a dancer to be taking part in the BBC dance show.

The actress and TV presenter has performed in many West End musical shows including Chicago and was seen by many as a favourite to win the dance show. However, last weekend she and professional dance partner James Jordan, found themselves in the bottom two with former Westlife member Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer and narrowly avoided going home.

Speaking to the Daily Mail she said "Dani Harmer went to stage school. She is half my age so attended more recently. Lisa Riley went to theatre school, so did Kimberley Walsh. And Fern Britton did the Strictly Christmas Special before doing the show.

"I went to a dance school when I was a child to do ballet, tap and modern, but I haven’t danced since then. I have never partner-danced in my life. It is a rule on Strictly that you are not allowed to take part if you have had any previous Latin or ballroom lessons. They are very strict about that.

"As for people who think I danced all the way through Chicago, well, if they had seen the show, they’d know I played Roxie Hart, who doesn’t have the dancing part, she just does one number at the end with a hat and cane. Because I have done West End shows people think of me as being an all-singing, all-dancing, all-round entertainer.

"But Tell Me On A Sunday, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s show, is all song. In Rent I didn’t dance, and there was no dancing in Legally Blonde. So I do feel it is a little bit unfair. What I do on a Saturday night is a result of putting in so many hours of training."