09/12/2012 06:52 GMT | Updated 10/12/2012 10:07 GMT

Strictly Criticism Is Unfair, Says Denise Van Outen

Denise Van Outen claims criticism over her previous dance experience has scuppered her chances of winning Strictly Come Dancing.

The actress has been under fire from people including Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans for having previous dance experience, which he claims is giving her an unfair advantage over the remaining contestants.

However, Denise has hit back, stating that while she has done some dancing before, so have the rest of the contestants in the final stages.

She often scores badly in the public vote, despite getting top results from the judges and has been saved by their high scores.

Speaking to The Mirror, Denise said: "Chris has caused a little bit of damage. But if you look at the shows I have been in in the West End, I haven’t danced."

She also pointed out that Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh also has West End experience after having recently played the role of Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical.

The current line-up includes Kimberley and boyband star Nicky Byrne, who danced in Westlife, while Louis Smith is an Olympic gymnast. Both Lisa Riley and Dani Harmer have been trained in dance as well as acting.

Although Denise has not danced professionally for some time, she did attend the famous Sylvia Young Theatre School, where she studied tap and ballroom as part of the curriculum