Thursday, 14 October 2010

Strictly Come Dancing: Tina O'Brien pulls out of this weekend's show after contracting chickenpox



Strictly unwell: Corrie star Tina O'Brien, pictured here with her daughter on Tuesday, has had to pull out of this weekend's show

Strictly Come Dancing has been hit by fears of a damaging chickenpox outbreak after a contestant pulled out of this week's show with it.

Former Coronation Street star Tina O'Brien has been hit with the highly contagious illness and will not be dancing on Saturday night.

But her withdrawal has sparked concerns that other stars could have become infected as a result of contact on the show.

The virus has an incubation period of between 14 and 21 days and is thought to be contagious for about five days.

Insiders said the show was on red-alert for any further cases emerging this week and told the stars to report to them if they feel unwell.

Show sources said the actress had not felt unwell last weekend and therefore had no reason to raise any concerns.

The 27-year-old was due to be dancing the rumba with her partner Jared Murillo, who had seven members of his family flying over from Utah this weekend to watch the couple. Miss O'Brien is understood to have caught the illness from her daughter.

Her doctor decided she should not participate in Saturday's action. According to the show's rules and contingency plans she is being allowed a bye in to next week's show.

But if she is unable to dance next week she will be forced to leave the show. At the weekend all the other couples will perform as normal for the judges and the public vote and one couple will still be eliminated on the Sunday night results show.

Chickenpox is a mild but highly infectious condition and causes an itchy rash that blisters and then crusts over.

Poxtrot: Tina has been hit with chickenpox and there are fears others may have been infected by the highly contagious illness

The illness is most common in children under 10 years of age. It is most common to catch the disease in either winter or spring.

The virus is so common in childhood that 90 per cent of adults who grew up in the UK have immunity because they have already had it.

Miss O'Brien said: 'I am devastated. I was so looking forward to this week's show. Jared and I have spent so much time and effort on

a really fantastic routine and I just couldn't wait to perform it on Saturday.
'Hopefully I will bounce back quickly and be on top dancing form soon, ready to come back straight into the next routine. I will be watching them all this weekend.'

This comes as cracks have begun to emerge between favourite, Countryfile presenter Matt Baker and his dance partner Aliona Vilani.

According to insiders the genial former Blue Peter host has thrown tantrums over her criticism of his performances in training.

It is understood he insisted on being given a very difficult routine to learn but has now become frustrated after his partner pointed out the mistakes he was making. A source said: 'They are doing the quickstep and he is getting very, very annoyed. Basically he wants Aliona to give him really challenging routines and it is more challenging than he thought.

'He got very angry when she actually told him he was making mistakes and he wasn't a happy camper. The cracks were showing.'

The insider added: 'It is the third week and they are all find it a lot tougher and it is getting real because they have seen someone go already.'

source :dailymail [endtext]

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