Denise Van Outen has rubbished 'Strictly Come Dancing' judge Craig Revel Horwood's claims there were 'secret romances' on the show last year.

The former 'Big Breakfast' host - who was a runner up to 2012 champion Louis Smith - accused the acid-tongued judge of trying to 'create press' for the show.

denise van outen

Denise Van Outen

Craig had told Reveal magazine: "There were definitely some romances in last year's series - but you just never got to know about them."

However, Denise told HuffPost UK: "You know what, Craig is one of those people who loves to create press for the show. It's one of the things on 'Strictly' that they do.

"I wasn't witness to anything like that. It really wasn't like that and I don't know why he said that. I think genuinely he just likes to create a bit of a stir. It's typical Craig fashion."

craig revel horwood

'Strictly Come Dancing' judge Craig Revel Horwood

She added: "Craig wouldn't even know - you don't spend time with the judges after the show. When you do 'Strictly', you just see them on show day. They're not around to see what you're up to the rest of the week."

Denise also admitted that she has been critical of this year's contestants, having been through the Strictly's intensive training.

She told us: "I thought I'd feel weird about watching it but I'm enjoying putting my feet up and having a glass of wine and relaxing to enjoy the show. But I am really critical now - I know what I'm looking for. I'll go, 'that wasn't a good heel lead' or 'that was some sloppy footwork'.

"I don't think I'm quite qualified to be on the panel but I do understand now how the dances work and that does make a difference," she said.

Adding of her favourites, Denise went on: "There's a few I like this year. I really like Sophie Ellis Bextor and Brendan Cole together but I love Abbey Clancy. I'm totally surprised by her and how good she is. She's never danced before and looks amazing.

"But then I also love Rachel Riley and Pasha, I think they're a good combination.

"The Hairy Biker makes me laugh my head off, he's so brilliant," she added.

Denise is currently working with Argos on their 2013 Toy Exchange to help raise money for Banardo's. For more information, please visit the website here.

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  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 1 / 2004</strong> <strong>Winner: </strong>Natasha Kaplinsky <strong>Partner:</strong> Brendan Cole <strong>Also Starring:</strong> Jason Wood, David Dickinson, Verona Joseph, Claire Sweeney, Martin Offiah, Lesley Garrett, Christopher Parker

  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 2 / 2004 </strong> <strong>Winner: </strong>Jill Halfpenny <strong>Partner:</strong> Darren Bennett <strong>Also Starring: </strong>Quentin Wilson, Carol Vorderman, Esther Rantzen, Diarmuid Gavin, Sarah Manners, Roger Black, Aled Jones, Julian Clary, Denise Lewis

  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 3 / 2005</strong> <strong>Winner:</strong> Darren Gough <strong>Partner:</strong> Lilia Kopylova <strong>Also Starring: </strong>Siobhan Hayes, Jaye Jacobs, Gloria Hunniford, Fiona Phillips, Dennis Taylor, Will Thorp, Bill Turnbull, Patsy Palmer, James Martin, Zoe Ball, Colin Jackson

  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 4 / 2006 </strong> <strong>Winner:</strong> Mark Ramprakash <strong>Partner: </strong>Karen Hardy <strong>Also Starring: </strong>Nicholas Owen, Jimmy Tarbuck, Mica Paris, DJ Spoony, Georgina Bouzova, Jan Ravens, Ray Fearon, Peter Schmeichel, Claire King, Carol Smillie, Louisa Lytton , Emma Bunton, Matt Dawson

  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 5 / 2007</strong> <strong>Winner: </strong>Alesha Dixon <strong>Partner:</strong> Matthew Cutler <strong>Also Starring:</strong> Brian Capron, Stephanie Beacham, Willie Thorne, Gabby Logan, Dominic Littlewood, Penny Lancaster Stewart, Kate Garraway, John Barnes, Kelly Brook, Kenny Logan, Letitia Dean, Gethin Jones, Matt Di Angelo

  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 6 / 2008</strong> <strong>Winner:</strong> Tom Chambers <strong>Partner:</strong> Camilla Dallerup <strong>Also Starring:</strong> Phil Daniels, Gillian Taylforth, Gary Rhodes, Jessie Wallace, Don Warrington, Mark Foster, Andrew Castle, Heather Small, Cherie Lunghi, John Sergeant, Jodie Kidd, Christine Bleakley, Austin Healey, Lisa Snowdon, Rachel Stevens

  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 7 / 2009</strong> <strong>Winner:</strong> Chris Hollins <strong>Partner: </strong>Ola Jordan <strong>Also Starring:</strong> Martina Higgins, Richard Dunwoody, Rav Wilding, Lynda Bellingham, Joe Calzaghe, Jo Wood, Zoe Lucker, Craig Kelly, Phil Tufnell, Jade Johnson, Ricky Groves, Natalie Cassidy, Laila Rouass, Ali Bastian, Ricky Whittle

  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 8 / 2010</strong> <strong>Winner: </strong>Kara Tointon <strong>Partner:</strong> Artem Chigvintsev Also Starring: Goldie, Paul Daniels, Peter Shilton, Tina O'Brien, Jimi Mistry, Michelle Williams, Felicity Kendal, Patsy Kensit, Ann Widdecombe, Gavin Henson, Scott Maslen, Pamela Stephenson, Matt Baker

  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 9 / 2011</strong> <strong>Winner:</strong> Harry Judd <strong>Partner:</strong> Aliona Vilani <strong>Also Starring:</strong> Edwina Currie, Dan Lobb, Rory Bremner, Nancy Dell'Olio, Lulu, Audley Harrison, Russell Grant, Anita Dobson, Robbie Savage, Alex Jones, Holly Valance, Jason Donovan, Chelsee Healey

  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 10 / 2012</strong> <strong>Winner:</strong> Louis Smith <strong>Partner:</strong> Flavia Cacace <strong>Also Starring:</strong> Johnny Ball, Jerry Hall, Sid Owen, Colin Salmon, Fern Britton, Richard Arnold, Victoria Pendleton, Michael Vaughan, Nicky Byrne, Lisa Riley, Dani Harmer, Denise van Outen, Kimberley Walsh