'I'm toned and tired': Natalie Gumede says the gruelling pace of Strictly Come Dancing is making her fit... to drop

By Bobbie Whiteman

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The gruelling pace of Strictly Come Dancing is taking its toll on Natalie Gumede.

The former Coronation Street star says the exercise is making her fitter but it's exhausting her at the same time.

'I've toned up but I do feel I've aged,' she told The Daily Mirror. 'I think it's because I'm so tired. I feel like I've lived two years on Strictly. September seems a lifetime ago.'

Strike a pose: Natalie Gumede and professional partner Artem Chigvintsev on Strictly Come Dancing. The actress said the gruelling show is toning her up...and ageing her

Strike a pose: Natalie Gumede and  professional partner Artem Chigvintsev on Strictly Come Dancing. The actress said the gruelling show is toning her up...and ageing her

The 29-year-old is 11 weeks into the dancing competition, which airs on BBC1 on Saturday and Sunday nights.

She rehearses at least seven hours a day with professional dance partner Artem Chigvintsev.

But the pace finally got to Natalie last month when she fainted and was rushed to hospital hours before the show was due to start. She was forced to miss a week and now she takes Sundays off.

Rigorous rehearsals: The 29-year-old collapsed last month after long hours in the dance studio practising

Rigorous rehearsals: The 29-year-old collapsed last month after long hours in the dance studio practising

  

Despite her high scores, the actress is not popular with viewers, possibly because they still associate her with her vicious Coronation Street character, Kirsty Soames.

She played the part of the violent husband beater from September 2011 until April this year when her character was jailed. 

Other viewers point to her dance training as a child, which they claim gives her an unfair advantage.

Two of a kind: The brunette and Artem outside the studios at the start of Strictly Come Dancing's run in September

Two of a kind: The brunette and Artem outside the studios at the start of Strictly Come Dancing's run in September

The brunette, who does not have a love interest at the moment, told The Daily Mirror she tries to ignore the negative comments on social media websites.

She said: 'I want to use the last weeks to get out there and love it. I didn’t join the show with an agenda for my career or to win. I came on because I love to dance.'

The show’s UK tour starts on January 17.

Soap star: Natalie played Kirsty Soames, second from the left, in Coronation Street from September 2011 until April when her character was jailed for beating her husband

Soap star: Natalie played Kirsty Soames, second from the left, in Coronation Street from September 2011 until April when her character was jailed for beating her husband


The comments below have been moderated in advance.

SORRY YOU ARE A CHEAT, cannot stand that cheesy grin on artems face week in week out..

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She comes across as smug. In tonight's credits, all the celebs looked nervous apart from Natalie. Her resume listed her professional dance ability until just before Strictly when it was changed. In contrast, Abbey has been fantastic, we've watched her grow and develop as a person, as well as a dancer. Natalie just comes across as a cold, unlikeable and professional dancer. There is no story to grow and she's already professional so her dancing isn't improving, it's already superb. That's not what Strictly is supposed to be about.

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Artem seems to keep his distance from her when they're not dancing.I think he doesn't like her much either.

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I love her and think she's a fantastic dancer,she's in my top 3 with Susanna and Sophie

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Natalie is really being picked on, particularly by Len Goodman - she's a fabulous dancer.

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i just can't take to this girl, she always looks smug with herself and the things she does with her mouth when dancing ....ooo errr ?? !!

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As someone who is currently suffering from a similar back injury as Natalie, I cannot fathom how she has been able to dance. I'm on 3 different lots of pills which makes me nauseous and faint. I can't even stand up straight or walk, let alone go for a grueling dance routine like she did. So either she's been given some super strength painkillers or she's been faking it. I believe the latter more, which makes me angry at both her and the producers for allowing this farce. Back pain is serious and debilitating, not something you can shrug off in a day.

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I really like her and think people are nasty. Just because she's not gushy like some, or blowing her own trumpet like others. I think she is an ordinary likeable person - and she dances wonderfully, clearly loving it.

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You negative people out there know nothing about Natalie and what dancing experience she has...if you believe everything you read in the paper then you are all a bunch of muppets...i know Natalie and she is a warm and kind person with such great talent...Did your parents never teach you that if you have nothing nice to say then don't say anything at all...jealous bunch of people on here

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She has no likeability whatsoever. I prefer the other remaining three ladies over her any day.

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