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Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas warns Maisie Smith as she becomes favourite to win

The actress was previously named winner of the Children In Need special

Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has told Maisie Smith not to take victory for granted after winning the Children in Need special last year.

The EastEnders star, who is bookies’ favourite to win, appeared every inch as confident as she took to the Strictly ballroom alongside professional partner Gorka Marquez on Saturday.

However, Shirley has warned Maisie not to get too cocky as “doing one dance is not like doing ten weeks”.

Shirley Ballas on Strictly
Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has warned favourite Maisie Smith (Credit: BBC)

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Strictly Come Dancing: What did Shirley Ballas say?

Speaking to The Sun, Shirley, 60, said: “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.

“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’ve got to go the whole nine yards

Betting agents Ladbrokes has given Maisie, 19, and 30-year-old Gorka odds of 7/4 to win the 2020 series.

The actress was previously named winner of the Children In Need Strictly special, alongside former pro Kevin Clifton.

Maisie previously won alongside Kevin Clifton (Credit: BBC)

Maisie Smith hits back at Strictly unfair advantage claims

Earlier this month, Maisie was forced to defend her place on this year’s series.

Hitting back, she said: “I mean, five days, back in September, I don’t think that’s prepared me for what’s about to come.”

She added: “It helped me in a way.

“I understood how much hard work you have to put in and how many hours, but I’m still not ready.”

Strictly Maisie Smith
Maisie and pro Gorka Marquez (Credit: BBC)

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The soap star has been hitting the gym in preparation for her Strictly debut.

Maisie continued: “I’ve literally gone every single day since they opened back up just to prepare myself because I know how hard this is going to be and I want to be fit enough to be prepared for it.”

The youngster comes from a long line of EastEnders stars competing for the glitterball trophy.

However, none have brought it home since Kara Tointon back in 2010.

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