Thursday 22 March 2018

Everything you need to know about this year’s Strictly contestants so far

So far the line-up is sizzling and there are some exciting names who’ve been announced.

Eight Strictly Come Dancing celebrity contestants have been announced so far
Eight Strictly Come Dancing celebrity contestants have been announced so far

By Press Association Reporters

JLS singer Aston Merrygold has been unveiled as the eighth celebrity for this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Merrygold, 29, joins a host of other famous faces who are hoping to shake their hips to ballroom glory.

Here is a rundown of the other seven names announced so far who will be joining him on the dance floor:

1. Simon Rimmer

Simon Rimmer (PA Photo/Tim Whitby)

The Sunday Brunch presenter offered a hint of the moves he has in store for fans when the news was announced live on the weekend Channel 4 show.

Rimmer, 54, has presented and cooked on shows across the BBC, ITV, Channel 5 and UKTV – including Tricks Of The Restaurant Trade, Breaking Into Tesco, Eat The Week, Great British Menu and Win It, Cook It.

He has also written five books and owns nine restaurants in the North West of England and another in Dubai.

2. Gemma Atkinson

The former Emmerdale and Hollyoaks actress said she is “beyond excited and incredibly nervous” to be joining the line-up.

Atkinson, 32, rose to fame as Lisa Hunter in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks and was most recently seen on screen in Emmerdale as Carly Hope.

She has also starred in The Bill, and Waterloo Road and hosts a breakfast radio show on Manchester’s Key 103.

3. Ruth Langsford

The daytime television presenter will be swapping the This Morning sofa for the Strictly dancefloor.

Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes at the TV Choice Awards 2016 (Ian West/PA Photos)

Apart from co-hosting ITV’s This Morning alongside her husband Eamonn Holmes, the 57-year-old is also regularly seen as a panellist on ITV’s Loose Women.

She has also presented Channel 5’s How The Other Half Lives.

4. Davood Ghadami

EastEnders actor Ghadami has played heartthrob Kush Kazemi in the soap since 2014 and won a TV Choice Award for best newcomer.

The 35-year-old also appeared on The Bill in 2005 and has had other television roles in Doctor Who, Silent Witness, Top Boy and Skins, to name but a few.

He has also extended his repertoire to tread the boards and starred in British playwright Mike Bartlett’s 13 at The National Theatre.

5. Joe McFadden

Holby City star Joe McFadden (BBC)

The Scottish actor is best known for his role as Raffaello ‘Raf’ di Lucca in the medical drama, Holby City.

The Glasgow-born actor, 41, has previously starred in Heartbeat, Take The High Road, The Crow Road and Sex, Chips & Rock ‘n’ Roll – as well as roles in the West End including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

6. Rev Richard Coles

Reverend Richard Coles is also among the celebrities to join Strictly (Ian West/PA)

The former musician turned vicar will be hoping for salsa success on the dancefloor.

Rev Coles, 55, was previously part of music duo The Communards, who enjoyed success with their song Don’t Leave Me This Way in the 1980s.

Most recently he was seen on telly when he co-hosted BBC1’s The Big Painting Challenge and was an inspiration for the main character in the hit comedy Rev.

Coles is vicar of St Mary’s Church in Finedon, Northamptonshire, and Chancellor of the University of Northampton.

7.  Mollie King

Mollie King (Ian West/PA)

The Saturdays singer was the first celebrity to be announced for this series of Strictly.

The 30-year-old launched her solo music career last year with a single titled Back To You.

Talking about the song, she said: “In a band it’s sometimes difficult to write about personal experiences because there’s a lot of members.

“My solo material is the kind of music that I love, stylistically this is me and I’m saying things that I want to say.”

The start date for Strictly Come Dancing has not yet been announced.

Press Association

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