Former Strictly Come Dancing winner Tom Chambers has hit out at the show, calling it ‘fake’ and saying that Tess Daly is a ‘robot’.

The Waterloo Road star – who won the show in 2008 with partner Camilla Dallerup – said in an interview that the contestants did not get on backstage but pretended to like each other for the sake of the voters.

And he added that Craig Revel Horwood’s bitchy act was all put on for the cameras.

“When you appear on Strictly Come Dancing everything feels so fake,” Tom said.

“They tell you that you have to keep smiling the whole time when everyone’s talking to Tess after they’ve performed.

“The producers would say if you look grumpy in the background ‘people might vote you off for looking like you’re not loving it as much as you should’,” he added. “Everyone on Strictly pretends to be friends but we’re all really competitive.”

He also said of Tess, “She’s a funny one. There was a comedy sketch where she’s like a robot, and now every time I see her, I think of her as that. She’s lovely but she’s like some kind of presenting robot.

Of the judges, Tom described Len Goodman as “brilliant” but had his doubts about Craig.

“He’s lovely in real life but when he gets behind that judges desk he pretends to be Simon Cowell,” he revealed.

“It gets everyone a bit p****d off because he’ll say really cutting things and you know it’s just for the camera. Then he’ll be really lovely again afterwards.”

Tom – who was being interviewed by comedian Scott Capurro at London’s Vauxhall Tavern – also confirmed The Sun’s story that he had secretly been a good dancer when he signed up for Strictly.

“I pretended I couldn’t dance so it didn’t look like I had an unfair advantage,” he said.

“But then I realised the kind of dancing I was used to was jazz and tap. On Strictly it’s totally different and I really had to work.”