06/09/2013 02:52 BST | Updated 06/09/2013 17:37 BST

'Strictly Come Dancing': Natalie Gumede Hits Back At Critics After Her Previous Dance Experience Was Uncovered

'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

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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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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