Natalie Gumede to miss Strictly after backstage collapse

Strictly Come Dancing favourite Natalie Gumede has been forced to pull out of this weekend’s show after fainting twice during rehearsals.

The former Coronation Street actress apparently collapsed during band call just hours before the show was due to go on air, and later fainted again at the end of her dress run with partner Artem Chigvintsev.

No cause has yet been identified for her collapse, with some suggestions that it was related to the back injury she suffered earlier in the series.

However a show spokesperson has since said it is unclear whether this was to blame.

As a result of her collapse Natalie – who had been due to perform a jive to the 60s hit Proud Mary – has been given a bye through to next weekend’s Blackpool Tower Ballroom Show.

The remainder of the programme will proceed as normal, with the public vote still going ahead, and another couple still leaving the competition on Sunday.

It is not the first time a contestant has had to miss a show due to illness, with injury forcing athlete Jade Johnson out of the competition in 2009 and Tina O’Brien missing a week in 2010 after coming down with tonsilitis.

Natalie’s Strictly future appeared to be under threat last month when she suffered a slipped disc during training – but was given the all-clear to perform after being treated by medics and undergoing an MRI scan.

She received the first perfect tens of the series last weekend, scoring a total of 38 out of 40 -the highest score of any contestant so far this year – for her Viennese Waltz.