Rachel Stevens slams ‘unfair advantage’ claims ahead of Dancing on Ice debut

Dancing on Ice star Rachel Stevens has hit back those who suggest that she has an unfair advantage.

The former S Club 7 singer, 43, shot to fame as part of the chart-topping band between 1999 and 2003 and later embarked on a successful solo career.

Rachel, who finished second on Strictly Come Dancing in 2008, will join a star-studded line-up as the ITV show returns on January 16.

She has revealed she is "terrified" of making her debut on the ice-skating show as her only experience on the rink is "wobbling around" at Christmas time with her children.

She told Hello! magazine: "I'm so excited – I can't wait for it all to get started.

"It's such a great team of people and I love my partner Brendyn Hatfield, so it's all super-exciting but terrifying at the same time. Totally terrifying!"

The singer, who shares daughters Amelie, 11, and Minnie, seven, with her husband Alex Bourne, admitted that the only time she has spent at an ice rink previously was when she was "wobbling around at Christmas time with the kids".

She added: "I've danced and performed for years but doing it on ice means starting something totally from scratch.

"But I can't wait to just go for it and have fun – and I'm loving working with Brendyn. He's just adorable and such a brilliant teacher."

Discussing criticism that her experience as a pop star and competing on Strictly will give her an advantage, she explained: "I am not a trained dancer, I've learned on the job.

"Dancing with a partner is so different to the kind of things I did when I was in a band.

"Of course, if you're a performer you've got that experience behind you, but I think everyone's got to just bring themselves to the show.

"That's what people enjoy watching – the journey."

The pop star added that balancing the demanding rehearsal schedule and her other work and family life had been stressful.

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"I am just muddling my way through it all, dropping balls everywhere," Stevens said.

"I am stressing out, trying to get everything done, but I think that's life for everyone, isn't it right now? I don't think anyone has a 9 to 5 job any more.

"I try not to give myself such a hard time when the balls fall. It's OK – we're all human."

The singer also revealed that she still keeps in contact with her former S Club 7 bandmates and that she would be open to the idea of a reunion, but only if all seven of them were involved.

The full interview is in Hello!, out now.

Dancing on Ice returns to ITV on Sunday night

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