She’s the bookies’ favourite to win this year’s glitterball trophy on Strictly Come Dancing.
However, regardless of whether or not she wins the show, Stacey Dooley is tipped to be the big success story of this year’s series.
The BBC has been accused of heavily pushing the 31-year-old in the hopes of turning her into the broadcaster’s next golden girl.
With her Luton accent and working class roots, Beeb bosses see Stacey as an antidote to its dominance of white, middle-class males faces.
The Sun claims the BBC is "doing everything" to promote Stacey in the hope of transforming her into a big star.
Stacey Dooley could soon become a familiar face on the BBC
(Image: Ray Burmiston/BBC)
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Although her documentaries have been primarily on BBC3, industry experts predict she will crossover to mainstream presenting once Strictly ends.
When Stacey was first announced as a Strictly contestant back in August, some questioned the calibre of the celebrities taking part.
After showbiz journalist Dan Wootton criticised Strictly’s "civilian non-celebrity version" and "rag tag bunch of TV D-listers", Stacey tweeted him in response: "You know what I LOVE to do for a living? As a grown man? Slate people I don’t know. Damn Dan, you must feel fulfilled everyday you get up for work … Ps. Next time you write about me, it’s ‘Stacey Dooley MBE’… k?"
Stacey in Iraq in her BBC Three documentary Stacey On The Frontline: Girls, Guns and Isis
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Since the show started in September, Stacey has made terrific progress as a dancer, despite not having previous experience like fellow contestants Ashley Roberts and Faye Tozer.
The investigative reporter and partner Kevin Clifton have regularly been near the top of the leaderboard in recent weeks.
However, some critics have accused the judges of marking Stacey and Kevin too high.
Former Strictly professional James Jordan tweeted last weekend: "I actually REALLY enjoyed Stacey and Kevin’s performance but I HATE how much they are pushing them.
Stacey and her dance partner Kevin Clifton have been tipped to win
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"Stacey – great job, great production great music, overall brilliant and Kevin is ace. I would like it so much more if the producer wasn’t trying so hard to get them to win."
With the Strictly final just over a week away, Stacey is the clear favourite to win, with Coral and Ladbrokes both giving Stacey 4/5 odds to win.
Stacey started out her media career in 2008 when she travelled to India to live and work alongside garment workers to find out the price of fast fashion for BBC documentary Blood, Sweat and T-shirts.
The following year, the BBC commissioned her own TV series Stacey Dooley Investigates, which has seen her travel all over the world addressing hard-hitting topics and facing war-torn countries.
Earlier this year, she received an MBE for services to broadcasting.
Stacey in action on Strictly Come Dancing
(Image: BBC / Guy Levy)
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