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Strictly judge Shirley Ballas has a warning for Maisie Williams ahead of live shows

Shirley Ballas has issued a warning to Strictly Come Dancing favourite Maisie Williams.

EastEnders actress Maisie is already being tipped to win this year's series.

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Maisie, partnered with professional Gorka Marquez, previously won the show's Children In Need special in 2019.

However Strictly's head judge Shirley has issued Maisie a warning ahead of the first live show.

She said in an interview with The Sun newspaper: “I know she won the special but if I was Maisie I wouldn’t take anything for granted because doing one dance is not like doing ten weeks.

"You’ve got to be there and you’ve got to be full on and you’ve got to go the whole nine yards."

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Shirley added of the celebs' first dance in Saturday's launch show: “You could see the competitive spirit, you could feel it. These people all look like they were at the starting block, ready to move forward.”

Strictly Come Dancing goes live this Saturday night on BBC One.

Alongside Maisie and Gorka, couples on this year's line up include HRVY and Janette Manrara, , Jacqui Smith and Anton Du Beke, Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse, Caroline Quentin and Johannes Radebe, Ranvir Singh and Giovanni Pernice and Clara Amfo and Aljaž Škorjanec.

They're joined by Jamie Laing and Karen Hauer, Jason Bell and Luba Mushtuk, JJ Chalmers and Amy Dowden, Nicola Adams and Katya Jones and Max George and Dianne Buswell

In the first week they'll be marked by the judges but no will be eliminated, with the scores carrying over to week two when the first celeb is sent home.

Alongside Shirley, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood make up this year's judging panel with Bruno Tonioli missing the series due to current travel restrictions.

Picture: BBC/Ray Burmiston