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Saturday 10 December 2016

'God help whoever gets me' - Daniel O'Donnell jokes as he signs up for Strictly Come Dancing

Sharon McGowan

Published 21/08/2015 | 07:00

EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 08: Daniel O'Donnell performs on stage at Usher Hall on April 8, 2014 in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. (Photo by Roberto Ricciuti/Redferns via Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 08: Daniel O'Donnell performs on stage at Usher Hall on April 8, 2014 in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. (Photo by Roberto Ricciuti/Redferns via Getty Images)
Irish singer Daniel O'Donnell will take part in Strictly
Daniel O'Donnell pulls some moves at the Rose of Tralee
Daniel and Majella O’Donnell

Daniel O'Donnell will need to improve on the dance moves he showed at the Rose of Tralee after being named in the line-up for the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

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The singer, who is a big fan of the dancing show, confirmed he will compete in this year's series.

"It's exciting and quite an honour to be asked, because there's so many people that could be asked," he said.

O'Donnell (53), who is one of Ireland's most successful singing talents, is the eighth contestant to be confirmed for this year's show.

He will compete against a host of stars including singer Peter Andre, Coronation Street actress Georgia May Foote and TV chef Ainsley Harriott.

The chart-topping Donegal singer, who raised eyebrows with his dance moves while performing at this week's Rose of Tralee festival, admitted that endless practice sessions will prove to be a challenge, for both him and the professional dancer he will be paired with.

"I don't know if I'm as good as I need to be, but I'm going to try," he told BBC Radio 2. "There's a lot of rehearsals and physical work which I'm not used to.

"I can dance, but don't ask me to be in a certain place at a certain time - this is going to be very hard for me. God help whoever gets me."

Although O'Donnell was only confirmed as a contestant yesterday, one bookmaker has already made him the favourite to win the show.

A self-confessed fan of the popular dance series, Daniel said he has been asked to perform on the Strictly Christmas special several times but was always too busy to take part.

"It's exciting and quite an honour to be asked because there's so many people that could be asked," he said.

He also revealed that his wife Majella O'Donnell is 100 per cent behind his competing.

"She said, 'You can have time off any time, don't miss this,'" he said.

Daniel is the eighth contestant to be added to the Strictly line-up - with singer Peter Andre, weather presenter Anne Kirkwood, celebrity chef Aisnley Harriot, broadcaster Jeremy Vine, former Coronation Street star Georgia May Foote, Eastenders actress Kellie Bright and newsreader Katie Derham also confirmed for the new series.

Although the Danny Boy singer was only revealed as a contestant yesterday evening, Daniel is already third favourite to shimmy his way to the Strictly crown.

Bookies Betfair have given the chart-topper 7/1 odds of walking away with the title, while naming former I'm a Celeb star Andrew as the likely winner with odds of 9/2 followed by soap actress Georgia at 5/1.

The new series kicks off on Saturday September 5th on BBC1.  Jess Glynne will perform on the opening show.

Boxer Anthony Ogogo to battle Daniel O'Donnell and more in Strictly Come Dancing  

Irish Independent

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