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Denise Van Outen has opened up about a horror accident she had on Strictly Come Dancing and the "major surgery" she had on her neck afterwards.
The 47-year-old appeared on Steph's Packed Lunch and spoke to viewers about the scar on her neck and how social media users have questioned her about it for years.
Now that she's opened up about the traumatic ordeal in her new book – A Bit Of Me – Denise said she felt good about talking about it now.
She said she had "quite major surgery" but didn't want to open up about it back then, saying: "I've got a scar on my neck – whenever I do live TV I always get messages saying 'what's the scar? Have you got a thyroid problem? You need to get checked for cancer', but actually it's from an injury I had years ago just after Strictly Come Dancing.
"I fell on my head and slipped three discs into my spinal cord, so I had quite major surgery."
She went on: "Now it's all out in the open I don't have to make excuses. It was such a personal thing for me at the time, quite a major surgery with quite a lot of rehabilitation, so I kept it private.
"It just wasn't something I wanted to put out there, but now that it is out there I feel good about it, I'm alright."
Newly-single Denise went on: "It is hard – you have those personal niggles you're self conscious about and you still want to do your job and love what you do."
She added: "But it's after with social media, people have direct contact with you and they always have something to say and sometimes you're not ready to discuss it openly."
Denise was a runner-up on Strictly Come Dancing in 2012 and was dropped on her head during training, having to do the finale while on steroid injections to try and get through it.
Surgeons had to go in through Denise's throat to get to her spinal cord and remove her voice box to get access.
Speaking on Lorraine recently, Denise said: "They were worried I would never be able to sing again, because you can get hoarse voice after an operation like that.
“The rehabilitation was quite a long time, but I kept it very private just because as much as I’m out there and I talk about things, there are some things in my life that I do like to keep private. I wasn’t looking for public sympathy, I just wanted to heal on my own.”
Steph's Packed Lunch airs weekdays at 12.30pm on Channel 4
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- Strictly Come Dancing
- Denise Van Outen
- Steph’s Packed Lunch
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