Emma Barton admits her theatre background WILL give her an advantage over her Strictly co-stars

EMMA Barton admits her theatre background WILL give her an advantage over her Strictly Come Dancing co-stars.

The EastEnders actress has performed in theatre productions including Chicago during breaks from the BBC soap, where she plays Honey Mitchell.

Speaking to The Sun Online ahead of tonight's launch show, Emma, 42, said her stage experience will help her get to grips with the Strictly dance floor.

She said: "I think it probably will, the musicality side of it, counting.

"I've never done any of the styles that Strictly do before, so it is all going to be new.

"It was more jazz hands from my past. So yeah, the part and parcel of it – the costumes, the elegance, the music – I love that."

One thing Emma isn't loving though, is the bruises that come from all the hours of training.

She revealed: "I haven't got any injuries, no! I've literally covered head to toe in deep heat. I stink!

"And I've been asking loads of the dancers for tips, because I'm worried about my feet being sore in the shoes.

"My toes are so squashed together so lots of tips of Volterol and socks on. Just trying to get as many tips as I can!

"None of us want to get hurt – I bruise like a peach though! My bruises are ridiculous."

Emma is the latest in a long line of EastEnders stars to take part in Strictly, and she revealed a number of her colleagues have given her advice on how to juggle her dance rehearsals with filming.

She said: "Jake [Wood] said 'Just wiggle those hips girl' and I'm like, 'I'm not as good as you though! I don't think everyone will enjoy watching that as much as when you did it!'"

Despite her workload increasing dramatically by signing up for Strictly, Emma's schedule at EastEnders isn't letting up either.

She said: "I'm still there, I'm still doing both.

"It's lovely that Strictly's just across the road, which is really handy. But they've done that a lot over the past few years, EastEnders look after us all very well, Strictly will as well.

"I'm not shy of working hard, so… I was not going to say no to this, I would have regretted it."

The Strictly Come Dancing launch show airs at 7.10pm on BBC One tonight.

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