Strictlys Angela Rippon says dance past was long time ago and slams fix row

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Legendary newscaster and TV presenter Angela Rippon believes that people are overestimating her previous dance experience ahead of her Strictly Come Dancing debut.

Almost as soon as the 78-year-old Rip Off Britain presenter was announced as a contestant on this year’s show a classic clip of her dancing on the Morecambe and Wise’s 1976 Christmas special went viral.

The hilarious footage sees her doing a comedy newscast before joining iconic comedians Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise for a high-kicking dance routine.

Angela was also the host of the original Come Dancing series on BBC One for many years so participating in the show brings her full circle.

However, she has dismissed the notion that she might have an advantage over the other contestants due to her background.

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“I was 37 for [Morecambe and Wise]! It was a very long time ago,” she pointed out. “I presented Come Dancing, I didn’t dance in Come Dancing.

“But I’m very fortunate I’ve been around dancers for a very long time and doing Come Dancing, I was chairman of the English National Ballet for four years – I’ve been around dancers.

“So I know what’s required and I did go to ballet class until I was about 17,” she told and other press at the launch event for the show.

“My brain says, ‘oh I can do that’, my body says, ‘what the hell do you think you are doing?!'” she confessed.

Angela already has a fan in judge Shirley Ballas, 62, who was a dancer on the original Come Dancing when she was the host.

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She sung her praises when speaking to about this year’s line-up for the hugely popular Saturday evening show.

“I think we’ve got a great cast,” Shirley stated, adding: “Angela Rippon of course from the 50s Come Dancing I was part of.

“She was the one calling my number, my name, and talking to me. I think you’ll be very surprised, this is a very educated lady who will bring her best foot forward.”

“She can do the splits and all sorts you know, she’s absolutely amazing.”

Strictly Come Dancing returns for its launch special on September 16 on BBC One.

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