Ashley Roberts defends experience ahead of U.K. dance competition


Ashley Roberts is adamant her experience dancing with The Pussycat Dolls won’t give her an advantage on U.K. reality show Strictly Come Dancing.

The singer-turned-TV-personality was hit with criticism earlier this month (Aug18) when she was unveiled as one of 12 celebrities taking part in the amateur dance contest after viewers cited her extensive experience in performing dance sequences in the six-piece girl group – originally founded by choreographer Robin Antin as a burlesque dance troupe – as an unfair advantage.

However, Ashley is certain her girl band days won’t give her a one up on her fellow contestants, which include Steps’ Faye Tozer, Blue singer Lee Ryan and YouTube star Joe Sugg, as the BBC show calls on a range of dance styles.

“Dance experience? I mean if there’s booty popping in ballroom maybe that will, but I don’t think there is,” she quipped in an interview with The Daily Mail at the show’s launch event on Monday night (27Aug18). “It’ll feel very foreign to my body, because I’m used to a little bit of like booty popping with the dolls!”

Ashley donned her sequins for the first time for the launch and took to the red carpet in London alongside hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly, judges Shirley Ballas, Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood and the rest of the professional cast ahead of the show’s first airing on 8 September.

With the celebrities yet to find out who they are partnered up with, it’s anyone’s guess who the 36-year-old will spend the next 12 weeks with – but she’s keeping an open mind.

“They are all fantastic and so nice and so whoever I get partnered with I know we’ll have a good time!” she smiled. “I’m excited to learn a bit of the Latin style. I just feel like they’re quite sassy and fun. I’m really excited to learn all of it!”