She found fame on children’s TV playing the role of frizzy-haired teenager Tracy Beaker, but Dani Harmer is winning a whole new generation of adult fans thanks to her sequin-spangled turn on Strictly Come Dancing.
And now Closer magazine has given her a glamorous new grown-up look, transforming the 23 year old from fresh-faced tomboy into Dita Von Teese’s minxier younger sister.
She tells Closer: “Wow, I look amazing in this dress!”
In the flesh, the 5ft 1 actress looks so petite, it’s hardly surprising that her and 5ft 7 Strictly partner Vincent Simone, 32, have been nicknamed “Team Smurf.”
At a size 6-8 with “rock-hard thighs” thanks to a daily seven hours of dance training for Strictly, Dani reveals she is perfectly happy with her figure.
“I’d always go for a bikini on the beach,” she says. “I’ve got big boobs, a big bum and a little waist, but so what? I’m a womanly hourglass shape, I love having curves – particularly my Kim Kardashian bum!”
Dani says she never weighs herself, but reckons she hasn’t lost any weight since starting Strictly – and wouldn’t want to. She says: “I’m already quite tiny and I don’t want to look like a skeleton. My bum is shrinking a bit though, which I’m quite upset about.”
Unsurprisingly, Dani rolls her eyes when the subject of her size is mentioned. Since appearing on Strictly, she has been targeted by Twitter bullies who have called her fat.
“It makes me so angry,” she says. “I try to put it down to jealousy, but some of the nastier comments have made me doubt myself. I started to think, ‘What are they seeing that I’m not?’ It got to the point where I thought about taking a photo of my top with the [size 6] label showing! You feel you have to prove yourself.”
And Dani reveals that she’s turned to her Strictly co-star, ex-Emmerdale actress Lisa Riley, 36, to help her cope with the negative comments. Dani says: “Lisa’s my best pal on the show and I’ve talked to her a lot about it as she gets c**p on Twitter over her weight as well. She’s great, she loves her body just the way it is and she’s getting out there every Saturday night, enjoying it and ignoring the haters. Her positivity really rubs off on me.”
Berkshire-based Dani reveals that she tries to meet up with Lisa at least one night a week to catch up and relax. She says: “We go out for a few drinks and lots of chat. Denise Van Outen sometimes joins us too, and quite a few of us go out for dinner on Friday to relax before the show on Saturday.”
Dani tells Closer she wanted to do Strictly to get away from her teen TV role.
“I wanted people to get to know me as Dani, rather than Tracy Beaker,” she says. “It’s been a great opportunity to spread my wings and show I’m no longer a kid.”
The full feature appears in this week’s Closer, on sale now (Tuesday).
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.