Alesha Dixon has said she feels able to “relax and be myself” on the Strictly Come Dancing panel after a torrent of complaints about the new judge.

The singer – who replaced judge Arlene Phillips for the new series of the dancing show – was defended by jockey Richard Dunwoody who was booted out of the competition on Saturday.

He said: “We all thought last week that she was good but this week she was excellent.

“She’s bringing a different voice to the panel as she’s been there and done it and she’s able to give really good advice.”

Alesha explained: “Last week, naturally, I was just settling in.

“There has been a massive build up to the show and there was a lot of pressure on my shoulders.

“This week, however, I was able to relax and be myself.”

Host Bruce Forsyth also backed Alesha on Friday night’s show, calling the criticism of the judge “unfair”.

Freesat viewers can now watch Strictly in HD for free.