Strictly Come Dancing dark horse Letitia Dean says she entered the dance contest because she wanted to feel that ‘performance fear of God’ again.

The former EastEnders star told Hello magazine that Strictly Come Dancing was something of a wake-up call for the 39-year-old.

“I am loving it on the show, but it’s completely out of my comfort zone,” she said. “The standard is very high. I love watching Alesha Dixon – she has such a sunny way about her and obviously adores what she’s doing.”

Letitia believes Kelly Brook’s in strong contention, while Matt Di Angelo is coming along beautifully.

“As for me, gosh, I did this because I really wanted to learn to dance. I’d been off the box quite a while and I genuinely wanted to have that performance fear of God put back into me.

“And I’ve certainly had that!”

Letitia has spent a lot of time in France since her marriage broke up 18 months ago. She was helping a friend set up her house in Provence and she found the experience ‘liberating’.

“I just needed a break, having been acting since I was 12. I just wanted a bit of me time.

“I realised that acting is a tough old business and that perhaps I’m not as tough as I sometimes talk myself into believing… Living in France, where no one knew me from Adam, was a most liberating thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m duly grateful for my fan base, but in france I led a very simple life.”

That simple life may be about to change with her rapidly improving performances on Strictly Come Dancing. And then, there’s panto in Ipswich. And after that, who knows?