Strictly Come Dancing 2012: Tess Daly defends Darcey Bussell

Tess Daly (Strictly Come Dancing)

Strictly Come Dancing host Tess Daly has defended new judge Darcey Bussell from criticism.

The ballet star was announced earlier this week as the long awaited replacement for Alesha Dixon, but got a less than positive reception from fans.

The mum-of-two previously guest judged on the show in 2009, with viewers branding her dull and 'too nice'.

But Tess, who fronts the show alongside Bruce Forsyth, said: "I think she's certainly a credible judge, given that she is a professional dancer.

"She's been at the top of the tree for years. She's a bit of a legend in the dance world."

Speaking to Digital Spy, Tess insisted: "I think her credibility and expertise will lend itself really well to the panel. Let's just hope she can hold her own with the rest of them - and keep those boys in line. They need a firm hand!"

Tess added: "She's been living in Australia, and I heard that she has been doing some TV work over there, so I think her confidence will have grown when it comes to talking on camera. I think that that, with her expertise, could be a winning formula."

Strictly Come Dancing 2012 will air on BBC One this autumn.

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