Tameka Empson

Tameka Empson

Tameka Empson admits the decision to send Melvin Odoom home from 'Strictly Come Dancing' was "shocking".

The former 'Xtra Factor' presenter controversially lost his place in the competition at the weekend after receiving the lowest public vote as rival Anastacia had torn her mastectomy scar, meaning she couldn't take part in a dance off to decide who would leave.

While the show has faced a backlash from fans who felt the singer should have gone if she was unable to dance, fellow 'Strictly' competitor Tameka has taken a diplomatic approach and insisted it would have been tough no matter whether it was Melvin or Anastacia who departed the competition.

Speaking at the Inside Soap Awards in London on Monday (03.10.16) evening, she said: "I think it's going to get the point where one of us is going to leave and it's always going to be emotional. It's not nice.

"Whether it was Anastacia or Melvin it was always going to be sad. Knowing that, it's the first time it's ever happened to the show. They had to do their discussions and that seemed to be the fairest thing to do.

"It is very shocking but ultimately we're still in the game to do the show."

Tameka is partnered with Gorka Marquez on the show and she is pleased to have a "good and firm" teacher - even if things don't always go to plan.

She said: "Gorka is very good he's a firm teacher. A firm hand which tends to slip and let me drop on the floor sometimes."

Tameka was thrilled to pick up the Inside Soap Funniest Female award for her portrayal of Kim Fox-Hubbard in 'EastEnders'.

She said: "It means a lot, I'm making the nation laugh."

However, her alter ego is set to show a more serious side as she supports her screen sister Denise (Diane Parish), who is expecting Phil Mitchell's (Steve McFadden) baby.

She told OK! Online: "I think you'll see a more serious side to Kim. The laughter will never go but as life goes on and we're hit by life.

"You'll see she's not just a silly character. She's got balls and deep down strength. She's going to be supporting Denise."