Saturday 22 November 2014

Strictly stars fighting to be fit for semi-final

Published 12/12/2013 | 18:58

Embargoed to 2015 Saturday December 7. 

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BBC handout photo of Brendan Cole and Sophie Ellis-Bextor performing during rehearsals for the BBC programme Strictly Come Dancing. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday December 7, 2013. See PA story SHOWBIZ Strictly. Photo credit should read: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire 

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Brendan Cole and Sophie Ellis-Bextor: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire

Strictly Come Dancing stars are battling illness and injury as they gear up for this weekend's semi-final stage in the BBC1 contest.

BBC Breakfast host Susanna Reid had to miss a chunk of training today in order to visit a doctor, and Abbey Clancy's professional partner, Aljaz Skorjanec, has been laid low with flu.

In addition, contestant Sophie Ellis-Bextor is nursing bruises after taking a tumble in rehearsals as she limbered up for crucial show.

The singer came a cropper after a lift with her partner Brendan Cole and, although she laughed it off, she was in pain and complained of her arm nearly being pulled out of its socket, as well as whacking her knee and elbow against the floor.

Ellis-Bextor said: "I have a few more bruises on knees and elbows but it will all be worth it I think. I'm definitely being pushed."

Reid, who celebrated her 43rd birthday on Tuesday, is soldiering on but told her fans on Twitter: "My voice is a little croaky."

Viewers also noticed the presenter with a hefty bruise on her knee too when she appeared on Breakfast earlier in the week.

And Clancy made reference to Skorjanec's health woes in an online message to her fans today, although they have continued with their rehearsal regime.

She said: "So, training going good even though Aljaz is dying of the flu."

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