I never dreamt of being a ballerina …: New Strictly judge Darcy Bussell admits she hated dancing as a knock-kneed child

‘I never dreamt of being a ballerina …’: New Strictly judge Darcy Bussell admits she hated dancing as a knock-kneed child

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UPDATED:

18:25 GMT, 3 September 2012

Darcey Bussell is without a doubt Britain's most famous ballerina.

Before she retired in 2007 the elegant brunette had captivated audiences around the globe for twenty years, including 17 years spent as the Royal Ballet's Principal dancer.

But if it had not been for her pushy mother it looks like the star, who joins the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel this season, might have taken a very different path.

Britain's most famous ballerina Darcey Bussell admits she hated dance class as a child

Britain's most famous ballerina Darcey Bussell admits she hated dance class as a child

She
told the Sunday Mirror: ' I danced from the age of five, but only
because my mum sent me – I had knock knees and she wanted to straighten
out my legs.

'Ballet wasn't
my first love. Often, my mum would pick me up from a class and discover I had been hiding under the piano the whole time. I was a horrible
child.'

This autumn Darcey will join judges Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli on the Strictly Come Dancing team.

The 43-year-old will be replacing
feisty female judge Alesha Dixon on the panel and fans of the show are
anticipating that this gentle, ladylike ballerina will be a lot easier
on the famous faces competing for the disco ball.

Darcey was a Principal Dancer with the Royal Ballet for 17 years

Darcey was a Principal Dancer with the Royal Ballet for 17 years

But
Darcey herself is adamant she will hold her own. She said: 'Will I be
tough Well, I want them to see the celebrities improve, so I'll be
disappointed if they come back the next week and they are still awful.'

One thing she will NOT be doing is joining the sunkissed Strictly judges and professional dancers in the on-site tanning booth.

She said: 'When I was a guest judge
on the show in 2009 there was a tanning tent outside during filming and
the dancers had no qualms about stripping off and just running in.

'I certainly won't be doing that, but
I will definitely do a little tanning so that I don't look too pale
next to the other dancers.'

Darcey is joining the very tanned Craig Revel Horwool, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli for the 2012 Strictly Come Dancing season

Darcey is joining the very tanned Craig Revel Horwool, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli for the 2012 Strictly Come Dancing season