Tess Daly has defended Ashley Roberts' previous dance experience - insisting she trains "as hard, if not harder" than the other 'Strictly Come Dancing' contestants.

Tess Daly

Tess Daly

The 'Strictly' co-host has leapt to the former Pussycat Dolls singer's defence after she came under fire from several of the show's fans because she has previously danced on stage as a pop star, but Tess insists Latin and ballroom techniques are "very different" to the girl band's routines.

Tess said: "She's got experience in a girl band dancing as a pop star.

"But ballroom dancing is a very different discipline. You never saw the Pussycat Dolls doing a Viennese Waltz, for example.

"It demands a different set of skills.

"She trains as hard, if not harder than anyone else. She's in the studio 12 hours a day, they all are."

The 49-year-old TV presenter has been really impressed with the talent on this year's 'Strictly', particularly Joe Sugg and Stacey Dooley, who didn't have any dancing experience, but admits the contestants are facing "a lot of pressure" on Saturday's (08.12.18) semi-final.

She said: "It's so much fun, I'm loving it. This year has been fantastic. They've surprised us with their ability.

"The novices are almost as good as their professional partners now.

"Joe and Stacey have never danced before - they're in the semi-final. They're dancing twice on Saturday - they've had to learn two dances in a week.

"It's a lot of pressure on Saturday."

Tess is also a huge fan of co-hosting the show alongside Claudia Winkleman, and admits it doesn't feel like work when she is presenting alongside her pal.

Speaking on 'Lorraine', she added: "Its' brilliant fun, we get on so well. It's not like work when you're working with your friend. You don't have to fake any chemistry.

"It's great to be standing by her side. We just have a giggle."

Tess recently joined forces with Phillip Schofield to help launch Huawei's StorySign app, which uses the telecommunications giant's AI to instantly translate selected children's books into sign language, opening up the world of books to deaf kids.

She said: "This is such an important moment for deaf children in the UK. Learning to read is such a huge part of growing up.

"It's amazing to be a part of helping make that a possibility for more children and bring story time to life for the whole family."

Pioneered by Huawei, StorySign, with the help of friendly avatar Star, uses the power of Huawei AI, to translate the featured book into perfect sign language page by page, delivering a seamless user experience.

StorySign can be downloaded for free from Google Play Store and the Huawei App gallery.