Nancy Dell'Olio joins Strictly Come Dancing
Published 07/09/2011 | 08:47
Nancy Dell'Olio, the ex-girlfriend of Sven Goran Eriksson, is among 14 celebrities confirmed for the new series of BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing.
Appearing on Strictly Come Dancing alongside Dell'Olio - the 50-year-old Italian lawyer who is currently in a relationship with Sir Trevor Nunn, the theatre director - will be a range of contestants from the worlds of sport, politics, television and popular music.
Edwina Currie - the former Conservative MP, 64, who in 2002 revealed that she had had an affair in the 1980s with John Major, the future Prime Minister - is perhaps the biggest name on the list.
Two actresses will take part in the celebrity ballroom dancing contest: Anita Dobson, 62, who formerly played Angie Watts in EastEnders and is married to the Queen guitarist Brian May, and Chelsee Healey, 23, from the BBC One drama series set in a school, Waterloo Road.
The other television stars will be Rory Bremner, the impressionist, 50; Alex Jones, 34, the presenter who replaced Christine Bleakley on BBC One's evening magazine programe The One Show; and Dan Lobb, 39, a reporter and presenter on ITV1's morning show Daybreak.
Another face familiar to television viewers will be that of Russell Grant, the astrologer, 60.
The ex-sports stars involved in the series are Robbie Savage, 36, the footballer turned television and radio pundit, who was once called "the dirtiest player in Premier League history" by a newspaper, and Audley Harrison, 39, the boxer and Olympic Gold medallist.
From the world of popular music are Lulu, 62, best-known for her 1964 hit Shout; Holly Valance, 28, a one-time star of the Australian soap opera Neighbours who had a No1 hit in 2002 with her song Kiss Kiss; Jason Donovan, 43, another one-time star of Neighbours who had several hit singles in the 1980s; and Harry Judd, 25, a member of the boy band McFly.
Judd is likely to be a favourite to win the competition, having won a special Children in Need edition of Strictly Come Dancing last year.
The new series - the programme's ninth - will begin this Saturday, September 10, with a launch show introducing the celebrity contestants and revealing which of the show's professional dancers will be their respective partners.
The competition proper will begin on the evening of Friday, September 30. Thereafter, episodes will air on Saturday and Sunday evenings, until the final in December.
Sir Bruce Forsyth, 83, and Tess Daly, 42, return as presenters. The judging panel will, as in the previous two series, comprise Len Goodman, Alesha Dixon, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli.
The programme's weekday sister show, It Takes Two, will be presented by Zoe Ball, the Radio 2 DJ.