Strictly contestants hit by illness

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Denise Van Outen is one of the Strictly stars struck by a bug Denise Van Outen is one of the Strictly stars struck by a bug

Strictly Come Dancing stars have been suffering as they rehearse their dance routines - after being hit by an illness.

Actress and presenter Denise Van Outen, children's TV star Dani Harmer and Olympic athlete Louis Smith have all had a bug.

Actress Dani, paired with professional dance partner Vincent Simone, reportedly told the Daily Mirror: "Everyone on Strictly has flu. I caught it off Vincent, now we've all got it. It's crazy."

The report comes as Denise told the Radio Times she couldn't wait for the first live show, on October 5.

"It's everything I love - performing, primetime TV, dancing, tans, sequins. It doesn't get more showbiz," she said.

She said of working with professional dance partner James Jordan: "We have already had a warning to keep it clean. We are very mischievous and naughty but we are having so much fun.

"James says it's not really a dancing competition but a popularity contest and he's worried because he thinks he isn't that popular with viewers. But I'm hoping to get the whole of Essex behind me."

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