Fern Britton looks exhausted as Strictly Come Dancing partner Artem Chigvintsev puts her through her paces

Strictly shattered: Fern Britton looks exhausted as partner Artem Chigvintsev puts her through her paces

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UPDATED:

18:22 GMT, 29 September 2012

It's been two weeks since Fern Britton was introduced to her Strictly Come Dancing partner Artem Chigvintsev.

And it certainly looks like the Russian dancer has been putting the TV presenter through her paces.

In a candid Twitter photo, the 55-year-old looks exhausted as she leans on Artem's shoulder during a break in rehearsals.

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Exhausted: Fern Britton looks knackered as she leans on her partner Artem Chigvintsev during Strictly Come Dancing rehearsals

Exhausted: Fern Britton looks knackered as she leans on her partner Artem Chigvintsev during Strictly Come Dancing rehearsals

As a professional, it's all in a day's work for smiling Artem, while poor Fern looks tired and achy as she slumps on his shoulder.

The pair have been hard-at-work training for the cha-cha-cha, which they will perform on the first live Strictly show on October 5.

In a recent interview, Fern praised Artem for being such a patient choreographer.

Ready for cha-cha-cha: The couple have been in rehearsals for a few weeks ahead of their debut on October 5

Ready for cha-cha-cha: The couple have been in rehearsals for a few weeks ahead of their debut on October 5

Shimmy and shake: Fern at the Strictly Come Dancing red carpet launch earlier this month

Shimmy and shake: Fern at the Strictly Come Dancing red carpet launch earlier this month

She said: 'We’re doing the Cha Cha Cha.
It’s a rather lovely dance, I think all Latin dances are fabulous but I
didn’t appreciate how hard it is to learn.

'Artem is teaching me every move perfectly, I like the way he’s teaching me, he’s very patient, he’s very kind, he’s taking it step by step. I’m very fond of him already.'

The handsome 30-year-old added: I think me and Fern are getting on very well, she’s got very nice feet!'

Fern and Artem have been given 40/1 odds of winning this year's series.

Previously Artem would have had much higher odds – last year he was partered with Holly Valance and in 2010 famously won with his now-girlfriend Kara Tointon.

Meanwhile, Fern insisted she won't be wearing skimpy costumes on the show.

She explained: 'Whenever anyone is worried they are
going over the top with the costumes, hair, make-up or glitter, the line
is – “Of course not, this is Strictly!”

'I
won't be going too skimpy to start with, but I could be worn down to a
size zero after a week, in which case the costumes might get shorter.'

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC on Saturday 5 October.