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Shirley Ballas warns Maisie Smith over Strictly favourite status

Shirley Ballas warns Maisie Smith over Strictly favourite status
© BBC
Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas warns early favourite Maisie Smith not to get complacent.

Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas has warned Maisie Smith not to get too carried away with her favourite status in this year's series.

The 19-year-old EastEnders actress is the bookies' choice to take home the crown after winning a one-off edition for Children In Need last year.

Smith went on to deliver an assured performance with partner Gorka Marquez in the group dance during the launch show, but Ballas has cautioned her against complacency.

"I know she won the special but if I was Maisie I wouldn't take anything for granted because doing one dance is not like doing ten weeks," she told The Sun.

"You've got to be there and you've got to be full on and you've got to go the whole nine yards.

"You could see the competitive spirit, you could feel it. These people all look like they were at the starting block, ready to move forward."

Strictly's first main show airs this Saturday night on BBC One.

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