'Strictly Come Dancing' contestant Natalie Gumede has defended herself against critics who have claimed she shouldn't be allowed to compete on the show due to her previous dance experience.

Earlier this week a tabloid uncovered that the actress - who played husband beater Kirsty Soames on 'Coronation Street' - has been dancing since the age of three, calling her place on 'Strictly' in to question.

natalie gumede

Natalie Gumede

However, she insisted to reporters including HuffPost UK at the recording of the show's premiere on Wednesday, that she has never danced professionally.

"I'm an actor who went to stage school, so yes I've danced before," she admitted.

"I danced as a child, but I haven't done ballroom and I've never done it professionally.

"I've got a lot to learn in a different way. It's a very different discipline to things like ballet and modern, so I'm looking forward to that.

"We're all coming from different places to it and anything else is up to the audience to decide, I think," she added.

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  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Abbey Clancy</strong> <strong>Age: </strong>27 <strong>Best know for:</strong> Modelling and being married to England footballer Peter Crouch. She also presents fashion segments on 'This Morning'. <strong>Odds:</strong> 5/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Rachel Riley</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 27 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Taking over from Carol Vorderman as the letters and numbers whizz on 'Countdown'. <strong>Odds:</strong> 4/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Sophie Ellis-Bextor</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 34 <strong>Best known for: </strong>Being a singer, with hits such as 'Murder On The Dance Floor' and 'If This Ain't Love'. She's also the daughter of former 'Blue Peter' presenter Janet Ellis. <strong>Odds:</strong> 6/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Vanessa Feltz</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 51 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Her 90s chat show 'Vanessa'. She now presents her own radio show on BBC London and Radio 2, and famously had a meltdown on 'Celebrity Big Brother' in 2001. <strong>Odds:</strong> 50/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Deborah Meaden</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 54 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Being a Dragon on BBC Two business show 'Dragons' Den'. <strong>Odds:</strong> 40/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Susanna Reid</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 42 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Presenting 'BBC Breakfast' with Bill Turnbull. She also appeared on a 'Children In Need' special of the show with fellow newsreaders in 2012. <strong>Odds:</strong> 8/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Natalie Gumede</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 29 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Playing husband beater Kirsty Soames on 'Coronation Street'. <strong>Odds:</strong> 6/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Fiona Fullerton</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 56 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Her roles as Bond girl Pola Ivanova in 1985's 'A View to a Kill' and as Alice in 1972 film 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'. <strong>Odds:</strong> 20/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Ashley Taylor Dawson</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 31 <strong>Best known for:</strong> His role as Darren Osborne in Channel 4 soap 'Hollyoaks'. He also used to be in pop band allSTARS*. <strong>Odds:</strong> 10/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Ben Cohen</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 34 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Being a rugby union player, and being a gay icon after establishing The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation to combat homophobia and bullying. <strong>Odds:</strong> 6/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Patrick Robinson</strong> <strong>Age: </strong>49 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Playing Martin "Ash" Ashford on 'Casualty'. <strong>Odds:</strong> 20/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Julien Macdonald</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 42 <strong>Best known for: </strong>Being a fashion designer, as well as having a famous spat with Cheryl Cole in 2011. <strong>Odds:</strong> 16/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Mark Benton</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 47 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Starring in 'Waterloo Road' as maths teacher Daniel 'Chalky' Chalk. <strong>Odds:</strong> 40/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Dave Myers</strong> <strong>Age: </strong>56 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Being one half of TV chef duo The Hairy Bikers. <strong>Odds:</strong> 50/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Tony Jacklin</strong> <strong>Age: </strong>69 <strong>Best known for: </strong>Being an English pro golfer. <strong>Odds:</strong> 50/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

Natalie also said that appearing on the BBC ballroom show would help her shed her image as the Street's Kirsty.

"It will become apparent very quickly that I'm nothing like Kirsty. She was a rather dark, troubled, aggressive character and I think I'll have left her behind," she said.

The 'Strictly Come Dancing' launch show airs on Saturday at 6.50pm on BBC One.

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  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Rachel Riley arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Rachel Riley arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Abbey Clancy arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Julien Macdonald arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Natalie Gumede arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Patrick Robinson arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Fiona Fullerton arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Sophie Ellis-Bextor arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Mark Benton arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Ben Cohen arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Patrick Robinson arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Fiona Fullerton arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Julien Macdonald arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Julien Macdonald arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Mark Benton arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Mark Benton arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Tony Jacklin arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Vanessa Feltz arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Vanessa Feltz arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Deborah Meaden arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Deborah Meaden arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Deborah Meaden arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Deborah Meaden arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Deborah Meaden arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Susanna Reid arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Susanna Reid arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Natalie Gumede arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Natalie Gumede arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Susanna Reid arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Susanna Reid arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Abbey Clancy arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Rachel Riley arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Rachel Riley arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Rachel Riley arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Sophie Ellis-Bextor arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Dave Myers arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Ben Cohen arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Ben Cohen arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Ashley Taylor Dawson arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Dave Myers arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Dave Myers arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Dave Myers arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Ben Cohen, Natalie Gumede (left) and Fiona Fullerton arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Ben Cohen, Natalie Gumede (left) and Fiona Fullerton arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Abbey Clancy and Patrick Robinson arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Abbey Clancy and Patrick Robinson arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Abbey Clancy and Patrick Robinson arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Abbey Clancy and Patrick Robinson arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Vanessa Feltz and Julien Macdonald arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Deborah Meaden and Dave Myers arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

  • Strictly Come Dancing Photocall - London

    Rachel Riley and Mark Benton arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.

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