Natalie Cassidy realises her weight will win her public sympathy on Strictly

Strictly Come Dancing contestant Natalie Cassidy has realised that her weight holds the key to her success on the show.

The yo-yo dieter is secretly thrilled that despite the rigorous dance routines, she isn’t shedding the pounds as quickly as the rest of her dance competitors – as brand new pics of her out with boyfriend Adam Cottrell, 29, prove.

A backstage source tells Now: ‘Natalie’s definitely playing up to public sympathy and she realises that she stands more of a chance of winning the show if she remains the size she is.

‘She already has a big fanbase from EastEnders and a lot of viewers feel like she’s been vilified in the press, so they’re going to vote for the ‘curvy dancer’ who shows she’s giving it her best shot.

‘She’s desperate to win and rather than joining the show to ditch those stubborn pounds, Natalie knows that they could well be her secret weapon. And, for a bigger girl, she’s certainly not afraid to show off her body in skimpy outfits.’

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Read the full story about Natalie Cassidy in Now magazine dated 5 October 2009 – out now!

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