The celebrity line-up
The 60-year-oldChallenge Anneka star announced her exciting news this week on BBC Radio 2 saying: “My family and friends haven’t seen me dance since, not at a wedding or round a handbag so it’s going to be a challenge for my partner. In fact I’ve asked for two, one on each side. I can’t see myself in a long frilly dress either.”
The Olympic gold medal winning rower revealed that he’d signed up to this year’s series on Good Morning Britain. The sportsman said: “Having spent so many years mucking around in a rowing boat with big men in tight lycra, it’s time I learned a new skill. I need to apologise to my kids in advance for the embarrassment.”
The 34-year-old BBC Radio 1 DJ shared the news that he’d be swapping the decks for the dance floor on BBC Radio 1 this week. No stranger to reality TV contests, the presenter has previously taken part in Celebrity Masterchef and SAS Who Dares Wins! He added: "One thing that people don't know is that I'm actually really good at dancing!"
CBBC presenter Karim has been a presenter on the children’s channel since 2014 and at just 19, he is one of the youngest competitors. Speaking about the announcement, he said “To be offered the chance to take part in Strictly is dumbfounding, I’m pinching myself…! I’m so excited to be Strictlified. I want the lot. The skimpiest of clothes, the widest of flares, the brightest of colours and the tallest Cuban heel a guy can find! The more flamboyant the better… sequins galore please!”
Viscountess Emma Weymouth
The model and chef who is also married to Ceawlin Thynn, Viscount Weymouth (making her heir to the Longleat estate in Wiltshire) will be joining the line-up of celebrities this year. She revealed: “I absolutely love watching Strictly every weekend and I can’t believe that I’m getting the chance to be on this series. I know it will be such an amazing experience from start to finish. I can’t wait for the dancing and the fabulous outfits!”
Most famous for her role as a judge on reality show RuPaul’s Drag race, she has also starred in the West End as well as appearing on Celebrity Big Brother 2017. Announcing the exciting news on Lorraine, she shared her excitement: “Getting to do Strictly in my favourite place on Earth is an actual DREAM! I’m so excited to show that being 50 doesn’t mean life stops. Things may not work like they did when I was 20, but 50 also means “FABULOUS!”
Gold medal winning table tennis Paralympian Will is hoping to inspire people with a disability by taking part in this years contest. He said: ‘I’m so proud to be on the show, it’s my family’s favourite show. ‘I have no dance experience at all, but I hope I can do well. ‘I want to inspire people with a disability – that would mean a lot to me. I want to prove to people I can do this.’
Will has a rare condition called arthrogryposis, a disability that affects all four of his limbs.
The Made In Chelsea star who is also heir to the McVitie’s biscuit empire revealed he’d be joining the Strictly line-up on Loose Women, despite BBC bosses claiming they would not take on any reality stars. Speaking about taking part, he said: "It’s a great show and everyone loves it. I spoke to a lot of people they have done it in the past, they say it is the scariest thing they have ever done but the best thing. I just want to make my mum proud."
The professional footballer turned Match of the Day pundit will be swapping her football boots for dancing shoes as she reveals she’ll be joining the Strictly line-up, “I am absolutely buzzing to be signed up to Strictly,” said Alex. “It’s the show I’ve always wanted to do and I can’t believe I’m finally going to be part of it. I’m super excited, but also terrified at the same time… The football pitch is a bit less glam than the ballroom, but I’m ready to try the sequins and dresses! Bring it on!”
It was revealed on the One Show that the comedian, who you may recognise from various panel shows such as Mock the Week or 8 out of 10 cats, will be taking to the Strictly dance floor this year. Speaking about the show, the South Shields born comedian said: "I’m both excited and absolutely terrified to be doing the show. You will not find me on the dance floor at parties, you will find me at the buffet table. All night. At my wedding I danced with my wife; that one song took about six months practice, and I definitely stood on her feet a couple of times. So I’m looking forward to the possibility of making a fool of myself in front of millions of people… there better be a buffet after the live shows."
Fans of Coronation Street will recognise this actress from playing Eva Price in the popular ITV soap. The exciting news was announced this week on This Morning by Eamonn and Ruth. In a statement, she said, "I'm thrilled to be a part of this year's Strictly Come Dancing. I'm a huge fan of the show. It'll be my biggest challenge to date as I'm not much of a dancer, but I've always wanted to learn the skill and the time feels right! I'm nervous as hell but super excited to work with such talented professionals. Hold onto your jazz shoes... mine is sure to be a bumpy/clumsy/fun ride!"
The former England goalkeeper will also be putting on his dancing shoes this year following many years of turning the opportunity down. Speaking about the news, he said, "I've been asked to do this quite a number of times and I said, 'No it's not my kind of thing'.” Luckily his friend and previous Strictly contestant Mark Foster persuaded his pal to have a go and sign-up to the show!
This 19-year-old YouTuber receives 15 million views a month on her YouTube channel and follows in the footsteps of last years YouTube celebrity Joe Sugg. She revealed the exciting news this week on Heart Radio saying, "I am really excited to go on the Strictly journey and am feeling very grateful for the opportunity! I'm looking forward to learning all of the dances, finding out who my partner is, getting to wear the costumes and to just experience this once in a lifetime opportunity."
The Eastenders star who is famous for playing Honey Mitchell is very excited about getting on that dance floor. "I still can’t believe this is happening. I’m very much a dance around your handbag kinda girl, but now I've been given this wonderful opportunity to learn all the different styles of dancing from the very best in the business."
The BBC Breakfast presenter will be swapping his sport reporting role for dancing as the news was confirmed that he was joining Strictly this week. Speaking about the show, he said, "I am so excited to be joining this year's Strictly Come Dancing. I’ve heard so many wonderful things from colleagues over the years so thrilled I’m now getting the chance. I know I will completely throw myself into the whole experience and I’m sure will love it from start to finish. I may have tried and profiled over 500 sports over the years in my Saturday morning BBC Breakfast slot but think the Strictly challenge could be the greatest. Bring on the glitter!"
The NEW Strictly judge is announced
Finally, BBC bosses have announced who the new Strictly Come Dancing judge will be. Following months of speculation since the lovely Darcey Bussell made the announcement that she would be leaving the show, Strictly fans have been predicting who would be filling the empty chair.
Despite many thinking Anton Du Beke may become a judge, it has been revealed that the new judge will in fact be Motsi Mabuse. As the older sister of Strictly professional Oti Mabuse, Motsi is a fabulous dancer in her own right and is a South African and German Latin Champion. She also has plenty of experience as a judge too after appearing as a judge on the German version of Strictly. She’s also already used to appearing on UK TV after regularly appearing in Celebrity Gogglebox with her sisters.
Speaking about her exciting news, Motsi, 38, said she was "absolutely overjoyed" to be joining the panel and hoped to "add her own bit of sparkle" to the show.
Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, said Motsi Mabuse would be "a brilliant addition to the show" when it returns for its 17th series later this year.
"She is a wonderful dancer in her own right and already has years of experience as a judge under her belt," she continued. "We're all looking forward to welcoming her to the Strictly family."
Sarah James, Strictly's executive producer, echoed her sentiments, saying that Motsi’s "natural warmth, energy and passion for dance" would make her "the perfect addition" to the judging panel.
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