Eyebrows were raised when she was unveiled as the latest signing for the new series on Friday morning, given just how much experience she already has as a dancer.
Fans of the BBC ballroom show bemoaned the fact Ashley spent years as a dancer and singer in the Pussycat Dolls, which eventually lead to her serving as a judge on ‘Strictly’ rival ‘Dancing On Ice’ for two years.
However, there were some who insisted Ashley’s prior experience didn’t matter, given the style of dance on ‘Strictly’ is different to what she has performed in the past:
Ashley is not the only contestant who has faced accusations of having too much talent on the dancefloor to compete on the show.
Earlier this week, Faye Tozer of Steps fame fended off criticism of her appearance, saying on ‘The One Show’: “Even though I have got some experience, I don’t have any ballroom experience, so I’m really excited get my teeth into that, dance with a partner and be whisked around the floor.
“I think you’ll find a few of us have [dance experience]. It’s what makes it an interesting competition.”
The pair are joining TV personality Katie Piper, Steps singer Faye Tozer, actor Danny John-Jules, Capital Radio host Vick Hope, cricketer Graeme Swann,This Morning’s resident medic Dr Ranj, YouTuber Joe Sugg and documentary presenter Stacey Dooley on the line-up.
There’s still no official word on when the 16th series of ‘Strictly’ will kick off, but if the dates follow the same pattern as 2017, we should expect it to launch on Saturday 8 September, before the first live show on Saturday 22 September.