Saturday 17 August 2019

Radio 1 DJ Dev Griffin announced as latest Strictly Come Dancing signing

The radio host and actor appeared on the station to announce he would be competing.

Dev Griffin (Ian West/PA)
Dev Griffin (Ian West/PA)

By PA Reporters

Radio DJ Dev Griffin said the Strictly Come Dancing curse was “half the reason” he signed up after being announced as the next celebrity confirmed for the BBC show.

The actor and radio presenter announced the news on BBC Radio 1, where he hosts the weekend afternoon show.

Hackney-born Griffin, 34, is the 13th celebrity unveiled for the 2019 edition of the flagship dancing show.

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Dev Griffin at the BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards (Matt Crossick/PA)

Speaking to Jordan North, who was standing in for Nick Grimshaw, Griffin said: “I want to tell you a little story. In 1996 I entered a dance competition at the Pontins holiday park.

“I tried my very best. I danced to MC Hammer’s Can’t Touch This. I was slighted, I came second and I swore retribution.

“As as I walked away from those Red Coats I said, ‘One day I’m going to take part in a dance competition and get really good and you will rue the day you slighted me.

“Fast forward to 2019 I’m going to be on this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing.”

Asked whether he was aware of the so-called Strictly curse, which has seen stars and their professionals partners couple up, Griffin joked: “How is this a curse? I don’t understand.

“Sorry, are you asking me, am I worried about hooking up with a professional dancer? Oh woe is me. Don’t let it happen to me!

“What are you talking about? That’s half the reason I signed up. I’d be upset if it doesn’t happen.”

He also revealed that he had not yet told his mother because he knew she would be unable to keep the news secret.

Strictly will not be Griffin’s first foray into reality TV. He has also competed on Celebrity MasterChef, getting through to the final, and appeared on Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins for Stand Up To Cancer.

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Alex Scott (Mike Egerton/PA)

On Monday a trio of Strictly contestants were announced: Made In Chelsea’s Jamie Laing, RuPaul’s Drag Race star Michelle Visage and Paralympic champion Will Bayley.

And earlier today football star Alex Scott joined the ranks as the 12th contestant.

The former Arsenal and England star was announced on BBC Radio 1Xtra, and said she was most looking forward to dancing the Argentine tango.

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Jamie Laing (Matt Crossick/PA Wire)

Reality TV star Laing was confirmed on ITV’s Loose Women and said he had struggled to keep the news a secret – especially from his mother.

He said he hoped his turn on the BBC one series would make her proud.

American star Visage, 50, is best known for being a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race and has also appeared on the Ireland’s Got Talent judging panel.

She said: “I’m a woman that’s 50 years old. I want to be out there representing women of a certain age.

“People say, ‘They’re old, they can’t do it any more’, but actually we can. We can do it great.”

Viewers may also recognise her from a stint in the UK Celebrity Big Brother house in 2015.

Sports star Bayley, who was one of the stars of the London 2012 and Rio 2016 games, has suffered from arthrogryposis since birth. The rare condition affects all four of his limbs.

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.”

Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita is not a specific diagnosis but is a term used to describe more than 300 conditions that cause multiple curved joints in areas of the body at birth.

The areas affected have severely restricted movement which leads to the tendons around the joints being unable to stretch to their normal length.

Other stars also confirmed include chef and philanthropist Emma, Viscountess Weymouth, footballer David James, comedian Chris Ramsey, EastEnders star Emma Barton, YouTuber Saffron Barker, actress Catherine Tyldesley, BBC Breakfast’s Mike Bushell and CBBC star Karim Zeroual.

Judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli also make their return, alongside new addition Motsi Mabuse, the sister of Strictly professional Oti.

She replaces Dame Darcey Bussell on the panel.

PA Media

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