Dubbed ‘Strictly For Couples’, one of the contestants on ITV’s new dance show Stepping Out, Denise Welch, says preparations for her recent wedding to new husband Lincoln Townley helped them get ready for the show.

Denise told What’s on TV: “Lincoln had never done any dancing before, so a few days before we got married, I’d persuaded him to do a little bit of Zumba as I’d been doing it for weight loss. He was like: ‘You’re having a laugh!’ But I really wasn’t and I thought it would be good for him at our wedding in Portugal to at least be able to do some dancing, not just rock about from side to side with me for the first dance.”

“So, just before we went out to Portugal we had a practice and Lincoln said it was fun and asked to have some dance lessons when we got back. Then literally five minutes later, ITV phoned and asked us to do Stepping Out. We thought it would be so much fun to do together after we’d just got married and would be the perfect way to spend time together. I have a lovely new husband and my motto at the moment is ‘never too late’. We have had the most wonderful wedding and now we are doing this. It’s going to be really great.”

Denise and Lincoln will be competing against other couples such as actors Glynis Barber (Glenda in EastEnders) and husband Michael Brandon, and JLS star Oritsé Williams and girlfriend A.J Azari, while cameras show contestants at home practising different dance routines for a live show.

Denise also reckons her July wedding may have put them at disadvantage, too: “Because Lincoln and I were busy on our honeymoon, our dance practice is about two weeks behind everyone else’s.”

But Denise and Lincoln do have one little helper on hand at home – Denise’s 12 year-old son Louis… 

“Louis is forever giving his verdict on our dancing. He’s a cracking little mover himself, so he’s like: ‘Mum, you’ve got to give it more here and do this and that!’ Louis also likes taking the mickey out of Lincoln all the time – like the belts he wears and the hankies he uses – so now Louis thinks Lincoln learning to dance with me is the funniest thing he’s ever seen.

“I’ve embarrassed my children so much over the years, so I thought I’d give them some more!’

Stepping Out premieres on Saturday, August 31 on ITV.