Strictly Come Dancing 2012: Lisa Riley wants to give 'larger women' courage

Lisa Riley (Strictly Come Dancing)

Lisa Riley has said that she hopes her appearance on Strictly Come Dancing will give 'larger women' courage.

The Emmerdale actress is one of the favourites to win the series, and is happy she's no longer seen as the joke act.

She told the Daily Mail today: "I knew exactly what people were thinking when I came on stage: 'Here’s the joker'.

"But from the moment I was first asked to take part I was adamant I didn’t want to be that person. What I wanted to show was that it was OK for someone like me to do a competition like this, to dress in sexy clothes and have fun, to say: ‘'Do you know what, it’s allowed.'"

Lisa, who is partnered with Strictly pro Robin Windsor on this year's series, continued "When you look at the statistics, they tell us that 42 per cent of the women in this country are 16 plus — not that you’d know they exist. So if I can go out there and shake my booty on a Saturday night and give these women a bit of courage, well then that’s great."

Lisa added: "There are so many judgments about larger women, even though there are a lot of us.

"People think we’re lazy, that we just sit and eat and that’s just a massive over-simplification. There’s a lot of prejudice attached to it. It means that anyone over a size 18 doesn’t feel normal — but what is normal?"

Browse pictures of the weekend's Strictly Come Dancing below...

This week Strictly Come Dancing is on Saturday 10th November at 6.30pm with the results show on Sunday 11th November at 7.25pm on BBC Oneand BBC One HD.

Get the latest news

Subscribe on YouTube