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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 October 2006, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Tarbuck health fears played down
Jimmy Tarbuck and Flavia Cacace
Tarbuck is hoping to appear on next week's programme
The BBC has played down fears about Jimmy Tarbuck's health after the comedian pulled out of a planned appearance on Strictly Come Dancing.

The 66-year-old performer is appearing alongside professional dancer Flavia Cacace on the Saturday night show.

A spokeswoman said Tarbuck had been diagnosed with high blood pressure by his doctor, adding he had been given tablets and advised to rest at home.

"He's hoping to be back next week performing the tango," she said.

The People newspaper claimed Tarbuck had been taken to hospital and ordered by doctors to cancel his spot after suffering a heart murmur.

"Jimmy had wanted to come down, not to dance but to support his fellow competitors," the spokeswoman said.

"But the BBC wanted him to stay at home and take a complete rest."

Celebrity contestants

Tarbuck launched his career at Pwlhelli holiday camp in North Wales in the 1950s, and made his TV debut in 1963, becoming a familiar face thanks to a string of variety and stand-up series.

Strictly Come Dancing, now in its fourth series, sees 14 celebrities paired with professional dancers, with viewers voting for their favourites.

Hosted by Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly, other celebrity contestants include former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, singer Emma Bunton, cricketer Mark Ramprakash and EastEnders actress Louisa Lytton.

Overnight figures show 6.5m people saw singer Mica Paris and partner Ian Waite eliminated from the series. The show is engaged in a keenly-fought ratings battle with ITV1's The X Factor, which attracted 7.3m viewers.

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