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Star won’t quit Strictly despite injury
EAST Lancashire’s Strictly Come Dancing favourite Natalie Gumede is set to fight through the pain barrier and dance tomorrow night.
There were fears that former Coronation Street star Natalie, from Colne, would be forced to miss this weekend, or even pull out of the show entirely, after an agonising back problem.
She had to miss training on Wednesday and went for an MRI scan amid fears she might have slipped a disc. She saw a consultant yesterday morning after taking pain killers and resting at home to reduce the swelling.
But a BBC source yesterday confirmed that Natalie was suffering sciatica and a compressed disc in her back.
She had pain killing injections and physio yesterday, but she does plan to dance on Saturday.
A show source said: “She had a slight fall in training on Tuesday which may have contributed to aggravating an old back injury.
“She fears the worst and would hate not to be able to perform on Saturday. It may be touch and go, we’ll have to wait and see.”
Her professional partner Artem Chigvintsev said: “We had to finish rehearsal early on Tuesday because of the pain in Natalie's back — if it is serious she might not be able to continue.”
Natalie has emerged as one of the favourites after she topped the leaderboard last week after achieving a score of 36 from the awestruck judging panel for her rhumba to Rhianna’s Love The Way You Lie.
She is due to perform a quickstep to Yeah by Usher tomorrow. Bury-born actress Lisa Riley, who reached the quarter finals of Strictly last year — and who will be coming to Blackburn, next month to talk about her autobiography — is a Natalie fan.
“She’s a brilliant dancer and a great actress,” said Lisa. “I loved her on Coronation Street and think she’s been mindblowing on Strictly so far. I’m sure her injury won’t keep her out of the series.”
Lisa danced with Robin Windsor in last year’s show but also danced with Natalie’s partner Artem on the Strictly Live tour.
“I have to split my love with my boys when it comes to who I want to win,” she said, “but Robin was my partner and he’s become one of my best friends.”
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