It was drama on the dancefloor in the latest Strictly Come Dancing - with Natalie Gumede unable to take part in Saturday’s live show after collapsing twice in studio rehearsals.
Her future on the BBC programme was once again put in jeopardy and there were fears that she would be unable to take to the iconic Blackpool Tower Ballroom floor on Saturday evening.
But now, after plenty of rest and medical check-ups the Burnley-born actress has been declared ready to “keep dancing” with her professional partner Artem Chigvintsev.
Talking to presenter Zoe Ball on It Takes Two on Monday night, the former Coronation Street villain said: “I had band call early in the morning and we were going through the dance. I had felt weak all week - I think it was just exhaustion - and basically my body just gave way.
“After trying again in dress rehearsal I realised I wasn’t fit to dance, and unfortunately I collapsed again.
“I’m feeling much better and I am so grateful to everybody for all their support.”
This is the second time that concerns have been raised over Natalie, after she fell over while practising the quickstep last month. She had suffered a back injury, but managed to pull through in time for the Saturday show.
A self-confessed Strictly fan herself, Natalie was due to be jiving to Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” over the weekend - and had put in hours of practice throughout the course of the week.
Speaking on Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday, dance partner Artem said: “I’m just really upset for Natalie. She was really looking forward to performing this dance. She put so many hours in and it looked really incredible.”
Since her Strictly scare Natalie, who appeared in the first episode of BBC One series “Moving On” on Monday, has cleared up national reports that stated she had been suffering from panic attacks.
Writing on Twitter, the former Chippendale School of Dance student, who bagged herself the first 10s of the series for her Hallowe’en Vienesse Waltz, said: “Thrilled to say I’ve been declared fit to dance this Saturday! Bring on Blackpool! @bbcstrictly I have rested well and I’m feeling... fantastic. Was never suffering from panic attacks or anxiety as some sources state, just exhaustion after a long few weeks following... having an epidural.”
Many of her fans also took to the social networking site to show their support, with one writing: “glad you are better missed you last week you can win girl keep going [sic].”
Despite not performing in the latest show, Natalie remains the favourite to take home the glitterball trophy, according to independent odds comparison site easyodds.com
Hairy Biker Dave Myers was the latest contestant to be eliminated from Strictly Come Dancing.