Queen of Essex Denise Van Outen is a star of stage and screen.
After beginning her career on The Big Breakfast she has since gone on to command lead roles in the West End and Broadway as Roxie Hart in Chicago, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and starred in Legally Blonde The Musical.
Sexy and self-assured, Denise is sure to set sparks flying on the dancefloor.
What are you most looking forward to about Strictly?
There’s so many things! Firstly of course all the costumes, I’m sure every woman taking part says that. But mainly the dancing, because when I was a kid I just loved to dance, and I can’t wait to just get into it, and be feeling really fit and healthy. I’m really looking forward to the group numbers the most, all dancing together and having a laugh.
What made you decide to take part in Strictly this year?
Most years I’ve tried to watch, but often been in shows, so I’ve never been able to do it myself. Last year I was in Legally Blonde, and I remember being sat in my dressing room watching Holly Valance doing her Chicago number, and I just thought ‘I want to be doing that!’ I knew that when the chance came that I really wanted to do it, and this year finally I can!
How would you rate your dancing skills out of 10?
Well I can move, I can do the basics, I’ve got the basic dancing skills thanks to theatre school. But this is all really new to me, and I haven’t danced properly for about 15 years. When I say properly, I mean in a stage show when I’ve had to dance. I’d give myself maybe a four out of 10. I’m most nervous about the fact that people will think I can dance already because of my stage career, but I’ve actually never had a true dancing role. Even in Chicago, Roxy is not the dancing role. She is sitting on a chair most of the time, and not in any of the group numbers. That’s what I worry about the most, people thinking I’m a dancer when I’m not. I’m hoping that after this I might be able to be cast in more dancing roles on the stage, that’s my hope.