Musical star puts the boot into dance critics

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Denise Van Outen says her feet have become so painful during Strictly Come Dancing rehearsals she has to practise barefoot.

The star – who was paired with professional James Jordan last weekend – said she is so sore she has been unable to even get her shoes on.

Van Outen also said she had been upset by suggestions that she had an advantage over her show rivals with her background on the stage in productions such as Chicago.

“This competition is not musical theatre, it is ballroom, and this is a world that I am in no way familiar with,” she said.

Writing online, she said: “I feel that I’m at a slight disadvantage this week as my feet are so badly blistered due to dancing in heels, that I can’t even get my shoes on and I’m having to practice barefoot until they heal. Even so, I wouldn’t change a thing as I’m loving every minute of it.”

Van Outen faces 13 other celebrities in the BBC1 series. The first live show is on October 6.