Alexandra Burke says the UK has a 'massive problem' with confident women

Roisin O'Connor

Alexandra Burke has suggested there is a "massive problem" in the UK where women feel they should play down their confidence for fear of appearing arrogant.

The 2008 X Factor winner, who recently took part in the Strictly Come Dancing tour, has released her new album The Truth Is and just landed a role in the West End revival of Chess.

Speaking to BBC News, Burke recalled the criticism she received for her attitude during the last Strictly Come Dancing competition.

"I got lost in a little bubble on Strictly," she said. "That minute and a half where I had no cares in the world. I love to dance so it was a joy and something that I would look forward to if I made it through to the next week. It was just a special moment for me to not do anything but dance and be carefree.

"And yes, that has been mistaken for confidence, and there has to be an ounce of confidence for you to go on the stage and do something out of your comfort zone...

"It's a shame that some people mistook that determination and that will to want to do well, which everyone should have in life by the way, for arrogance or anything other than what it was."

In an article for The Guyliner, Justin Myers wrote an impassioned defence of Burke in response to the criticism she was receiving on Strictly.

"According to some, Alexandra is gushing, over-complimentary, talkative, excitable, dramatic, theatrical, over the top, grating, mildly annoying, calculating, overly humble and modest," he wrote.

In a similar piece about Jessie J, who has faced the same criticisms, Popjustice said: "In the UK we have a problem with what we call 'showing off', even when it comes to pop stars, musicians and people whose actual job is to show off a bit.

"Sing but don't over-sing. Collect an award but don't look too pleased with yourself. That sort of thing."