Strictly Come Dancing's Emma Barton Previously Said She Had 'Too Much Experience' For Show

The EastEnders star suggested her time in a touring production of Chicago meant she had an unfair advantage.

Each year when the Strictly Come Dancing line-up is announced, there’s inevitably a conversation about whether the stars with previous dance experience are at an unfair advantage.

What we weren’t expecting, though, was that this year it would be one of the contestants themselves who started the conversation.

An old interview with EastEnders star Emma Barton has been unearthed, in which she suggested it might be unfair for her to take part, having already played Roxie Hart in a touring production of Chicago.

Emma Hart
Emma Hart
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

I was approached by the producers but nothing came of it,” she told the Birmingham Mail in 2009. “When I saw it I thought ‘I’m quite glad I’m not in it, it looks exhausting and nerve-wracking’.

“I might consider doing it, though after all this time dancing in Chicago, maybe it wouldn’t be fair. I would feel a bit like I shouldn’t take part because I have too much experience.”

The soap actress added: “I’d love the chance to learn ballroom dances, but it’s scary to be in the spotlight.”

Emma isn’t the only star on the line-up who has previously been involved in the theatre, with CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual starting his career as a child star in the West End, appearing in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Lion King.

Interestingly, this is the first time in several years that Strictly hasn’t signed up any musicians, after contestants Faye Tozer and Ashley Roberts came under similar scrutiny last year.

Check out the full line-up for this year’s Strictly – which was recently revealed as the most racially diverse in the show’s history – below...

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