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Denise dances her way up the leader board as 'Strictly' returns

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TV presenter Denise Van Outen topped the leader board during Friday night's opening show of Strictly Come Dancing.Mum-of-one Denise and her professional partner James Jordan scored 25 points as the well-loved show returned to the small screen.


The dancing duo performed a waltz which was praised by notoriously harsh judge Craig Revel-Horwood, who said they had saved "the best til last."The night was not without some sadness for the West End star, who rose to fame as a presenter on The Big Breakfast, as her commitment to the show forced her to miss her grandfather's funeral.Denise said the week had been "really hard", but added "I'm sure he was looking down on me and would be proud."Dancing professional James' night was not without its own troubles, as he delivered the impressive waltz to With You I'm Born Again, despite having broken his nose earlier in the day.

Victoria Pendleton and Brendan Cole

James' wife Ola, who is also a dancing profesional and partners Sid Owen in the current series, accidently kicked her husband in the face causing his nose to break.Strictly's opening night finished with Denise in first place, actor Colin Salmon in second, cricketer Michael Vaughn in third, Fern Britton ranked fourth, Westlife star Nicky Bryne fifth and cycling champ Victoria Pendleton finished in sixth position.Olympic golden girl Victoria shed a few tears as she apologised to partner Brendan Cole for their low score, but was encouraged by judge Len Goodman who told her: "you're a champion, you've fallen off your bike before, get back on it!"The second installment of the new series airs on Saturday, as the remaining eight dancers challenge Denise for her top spot.

Strictly Come Dancing Scores 

    Denise Van Outen and James Jordan: 25 Colin Salmon and Kristina Rihanoff: 23 Michael Vaughan and Natalie Lowe: 20 Fern Britton and Artem Chigvintsev: 19 Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer: 17 Victoria Pendleton and Brendan Cole: 16

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