Strictly hopeful Natalie Gumede says her stage school background doesn’t give her an advantage on the BBC1 dance extravaganza. 

The 29-year-old ex-Coronation Street actress, who has been installed as the 5/2 favourite to win the competition by the bookies, has played down her chances in an interview with TV Times.

“I trained at Italia Conti so I did dance as a kid but never professionally. Dancing is something that I never quite got the chance to do as I had an injury so I didn’t go down that road. I haven’t danced for 10 years so now’s the opportunity.”

Natalie, who’s partnered with Artem Chigvintsev, hopes her twirl on the dancefloor will also show her fun side after playing Coronation Street villain Kirsty Soames.

“I think this is a nice opportunity to close the door, not on Corrie, but on people’s perception of me as a performer, in that I am the baddie. This is all sequins, fabulousness and fun!

“My Corrie castmates knew I loved Strictly so they’ve had a little giggle that I’m now taking part. Alan Hansall, Cath Tyldesley, Charlie Condou, Samia Ghadie have all sent messages of support.”

The Strictly Come Dancing live shows premiere on BBC1 tonight.