Former Corrie villain Natalie Gumede will be swopping the cobbles for glamour and glitz as she waltzes her way onto the next series of Strictly Come Dancing.
The popular Pendle actress is set to begin her ballroom battle at the end of the month, going head to head with 14 other famous faces, including singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Countdown’s Rachel Riley.
A self-confessed Strictly fanatic herself, the former Park High School student has previously admitted her love for the show in interviews and via her Twitter account.
And in an exclusive BBC interview, the 29-year-old shared her knowledge further by dubbing Emmerdale actress Lisa Riley as one of her favourite contestants of all times, and choosing eccentric personality Bruno Tonioli as the judge she would most like to be stuck in a lift with.
She said: “One of my favourite Strictly contestants has to be Lisa Riley. Last year she brought such energy to the show, and fully embraced every part of it.
“If I was to be stuck in a lift with any judge I think it would have to be Bruno. I think he would get me through the hour of despair with great humour.”
The star, who in 1996 won the Howard Rigg Leader-Times Stage Young Performer award, also admitted who she wants to guide her through her Strictly journey, stating: “I’d love to be partnered with Brendan Cole. I know he’s a hard taskmaster but I like a challenge.”
Taking to Twitter following the announcement, the actress could barely contain her excitement, posting a series of tweets including: “SQUEALS! @bbcstrictly #scd #strictly2013” and “RUNS AROUND ROOM! @bbcstrictly #scd #strictly2013”.
She was also supported by a number of well-wishers on her social networking site, who sent messages such as: “Get ready with the ‘Kirsty’ look in your Tango and Paso!! I am SO excited!!! :)” and “So it’s true all the very very best I’ll be voting for you x”.
Natalie, who chooses Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” as the song guaranteed to get her dancing, entered the world of showbiz at a young age.
Having graduated from the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in 2003, the talent won the role of China in BBC Three’s Ideal just one year later.
In 2011 she shot to fame, landing the role of Tyrone Dobb’s abusive lover Kirsty Soames in Coronation Street. The star left the world of Weatherfield in April, and this year scooped three gongs at the British Soap Awards.
See her begin her fight for the coveted glitterball trophy in the Strictly Come Dancing launch show on BBC One tomorrow at 6-50pm.