ashley roberts strictly launch

Strictly's Ashley Roberts defends dancing background - and reveals whether Nicole Scherzinger will attend the show

The singer propelled into the limelight with The Pussycat Dolls

Sharnaz Shahid

She is set to light up the Strictly Come Dancing dancefloor with some fancy footwork, and ahead of her debut, Ashley Roberts has been forced to defend her previous dancing experience thanks to her time with The Pussycat Dolls. Speaking at the Strictly press launch, the 36-year-old confessed: "People obviously know what I did with the Dolls. We were running around the world, booty-popping for days. This is a new skill, and I'm just really grateful to be here." She added: "I'm very excited to be learning a new skill. Hopefully, I'll go out there and do alright – we'll see, this is going to be new for me."

Ashley Roberts has defended her dancing experience

Ashley, who has also taken part in I'm A Celebrity, claims that dancing without her girls will be a completely different experience as to just dancing with a male partner. "This is a whole new world for me - and its live telly," she admitted. "It's just you and your partner but I'm very excited. At the same time I'm also very nervous. I'm just really grateful to be here and become all the characters and to bring out all the outfits." When asked whether her former bandmate, Nicole Scherzinger, will turn out in support, Ashley replied: "Well it depends on her schedule. But I'll have some friends there for sure."

READ: Did you notice Chris Evans' blunder during Ashley Roberts Strictly announcement?

It seems the blonde beauty is hoping to follow in the same footsteps as Nicole, who won Dancing With The Stars – the American version of Strictly - in 2010 alongside dance partner Derek Hough. "Well she did kill it," revealed Ashley. "I was there at her last performance. She looked amazing – so she has raised the bar. Now I've just got to see how I'll do."

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Meanwhile, there is one thing Ashley is worried about – and that is to impress the judges; Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell and head judge Shirley Ballas. "They're there to give us criticism and critique," she explained. "I will take it on as constructive criticism and will then go back and apply it. Then the next week, I'll come back stronger. It's a part of the show and I'm going to embrace it." She added: "I feel like the competition is really about myself, how I am going to handle it and how I will deal with everything. See if the audience is enjoying what they are seeing. I just want to really learn this skill and enjoy it." Strictly Come Dancing will return with its launch show on 8 September, at 7.35pm on BBC One.

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