'Strictly Come Dancing' contestants risk being thrown off the show if they are gripped by stage fright.

Tess Daly

Tess Daly

Show host Tess Daly was stunned by the level of nerves shown by this year's contestants in the first week of the programme, and revealed there is a "contingency plan" in place if their fears get the better of them.

She said: "I've never seen nerves like it in week one. I thought we were going to have an actual case of stage fright, for which we have a lot of contingency plans.

"If someone is so petrified they literally freeze and can't carry on, we give them a chance to dance again at the end of the show. And if they can't dance then either, they're out of the competition."

Though the 46-year-old star admits presenting the live shows give her "butterflies", she insists her nerves help her performance.

She told Britain's HELLO! magazine: "I love the thrill that anything can happen at any moment.

"It's like riding a wild horse at a rodeo. I love the adrenaline rush.

"I get butterflies - Bruce [Forsyth] used to get butterflies. But it's not debilitating.

"It forces you to be fully present in the moment, in the zone, which is a wonderful place to be."