BASILDON girl Denise Van Outen is missing her Grandfather’s funeral as she prepares to make her Strictly Come Dancing bow tonight.

Strictly favourite Denise tweeted from her Twitter account @denise_vanouten on Friday lunchtime saying: “I'm missing my grandads funeral today because of the show. I will be dancing for him #bit emosh”.

The 38-year-old missed training sessions this week and had to pull out of publicity commitments for the BBC show after Steven Matthews’ death at 89 last week. It is thought that Denise visited her ill grandfather just days before he passed away.

BBC bosses were believed to have told her to take as much time out from the show as she needed but she confirmed she will be taking her place alongside her fellow hopefuls.

Her grandfather’s death is another blow to her preparation after she was floored with a virus a week before her Strictly debut.

Blonde Denise was back to form hours before the performance as she tweeted her excitement on Friday: “On my way to the BBC. So nervous!!!!!!”