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Dawn French clarifies Strictly comment following 'dig' at Anton du Beke

The actress is set to star in Death in the Nile

Sharnaz Shahid

Dawn French was forced to defend herself following her recent remark on turning down Strictly Come Dancing. Appearing on Tuesday's This Morning, the comedian was probed by hosts Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes about her apparent dig towards professional dancer Anton du Beke.

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Kicking off the interview, Eamonn said: "I pick up the paper and you're there all the time - either saying you won't take part in Strictly and that you couldn't think of anything worse."

To which, Dawn replied: "First, let me clear up the thing about Strictly - I love Strictly, let's get that straight. That was a casual comment I made with Jennifer on a podcast that we did recently where she said, 'Oh, I know what would happen if we did Strictly, we'd be put in the oldies section and no one would take us seriously.'

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"And I said, 'Yeah, because I'm a brilliant dancer so I would want to be taken very, very seriously and I would want to win, so that's why I'm not doing it.'"

Turning towards his wife, Eamonn joked: "She doesn't want to be like you." Taking it in her stride, Ruth - who was paired with Anton in 2017 - replied: "No, she doesn't want to be like me." To which, Dawn interjected: "No, that's not the case!"

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Last week, the 63-year-old actress explained she had turned down the BBC dancing show because she would be paired Anton and "not any of the nice ones".

"If I did it, I'd want to properly dance. I'd want to be taken seriously and you can't," she said on her new podcast French & Saunders: Titting About. "At this age, you're not taken seriously. Also, if you're from comedy they want to shoot you out of a cannonball like Ann Widdecombe. And I don't want that."

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Dawn was probed about her recent Strictly comments on This Morning

Her co-host Jennifer Saunders has also ruled out Strictly, saying: "I like watching it. I'm not saying I don't like watching it. But I have to say, being on it would make me cringe… There’s a shape a person of our age makes when they're dancing… We know we'd be with Anton du Beke. We wouldn't get Aljaz [Škorjanec, professional dancer] or any of the nice ones."

Dawn also added: "I want the nicest dresses, the most elegant other dancer and to take it seriously, and nobody would want that."

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