08/09/2018 00:00 BST

'Strictly Come Dancing': Ashley Roberts Brushes Off Criticism She's Too Experienced For Show

As well as a Pussycat Doll, she was also a 'Dancing On Ice' judge.

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ contestant Ashley Roberts has spoken out against claims she has too much dance experience to compete on the show. 

Eyebrows were raised when it was announced Ashley would be taking part, as she racked up years of dance experience as part of the Pussycat Dolls, later going on to judge ‘Strictly’ rival ‘Dancing On Ice’ for two series. 

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Ashley Roberts is one of this year's 'Strictly' contestants

With the added attention on her as the series kicks off this weekend, Ashley has admitted she feels the pressure to step up, but remains insistent her performance skills are different to what she will learn on the BBC ballroom show. 

Speaking to HuffPost UK and other journalists at this year’s press launch, Ashley said: “Well I did the ice skating show, which was about performing so I do have to step up, don’t I? And perform and give a good character.

“It’s a skill and a new style that I have never done before so I am excited to learn it, and then hopefully apply some of the performing background I have had into this and see how that little potion works.”

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Ashley with the Pussycat Dolls in 2007

Admitting the talk about her background as a dancer “adds pressure”, she continued: “People are aware of the Pussycat Dolls and what I’ve done, but in the last couple of years I’ve been on telly and doing stuff with Keith Lemon and hosting stuff. So it’s a new skill.

“I’m really grateful to be here and I’m really excited about the challenge and the journey.”

She added: “The whole ballroom world in general is a different way of carrying yourself. I’m interested to see how my body reacts to that.”

After she was reminded of how fellow former Pussycat Doll, Nicole Scherzinger, won the US version of ‘Strictly’ in 2010, Ashley commented: “That’s what I’m saying, honey! Done deal.”

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Ashley's previous dance experience has raised eyebrows among 'Strictly' fans

The singer also revealed she has been seeking tips from friend and ‘Strictly’ alum Laura Whitmore ahead of her dance floor debut. 

She said: “Laura told me to pee before I go on stage. Because we
are literally sewn into our outfits and if you don’t pee first, you are stuffed!′

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ kicks off tonight at 7.35pm on BBC One. 

Photo gallery 'Strictly Come Dancing' 2018: Red Carpet Launch See Gallery