Bruce Forsyth has defended Alesha Dixon and encouraged viewers to give the new Strictly Come Dancing judge a chance.

The Sun has reported that Brucie told BBC staff in a workshop that he believed the Mis-teeq singer could do the job.

According to the newspaper, the presenter explained to his team: “The show has been so hyped up this year and the criticism of Alesha has been unnecessarily harsh. She should be given a chance – the girl’s got guts.”

The talk came in response to nearly 1000 complaints about the new judge’s appearance in the show, according to press.

One member of staff reportedly said: “Brucie obviously feels very passionately about the Alesha situation as he was feeling feisty.

“He seemed genuinely annoyed by it all. Normally he reduces everyone to fits of giggles but this was an altogether more serious Bruce.”

Freesat viewers can now watch Strictly in HD for free.