Sunday 18 March 2018

Strictly Come Dancing’s 2017 line-up has no contestants over 60

Find out about the composition of the class of 2017.

Claudia and Tess during last year's Strictly Come Dancing (BBC)
Claudia and Tess during last year's Strictly Come Dancing (BBC)

By Grace Rahman, Press Association

The new series of Strictly Come Dancing will feature no contestants over the age of 60.

It is only the second time this has happened in the show’s 14 years on television.

Debbie McGee leaves Broadcasting House, London, after appearing on The One Show

The oldest celebrity taking part in 2017’s contest is 58-year-old Debbie McGee, TV personality and widow of magician Paul Daniels.

Strictly Come Dancing: age range of contestants graphic

Other 50-somethings include This Morning presenter Ruth Langsford as well as actor and comedian Brian Conley.

By contrast, last year saw 70-year-old Lesley Joseph set the record for the oldest woman ever to appear on Strictly.

The show usually includes in its line-up at least one contestant who is in their sixties or above.

This peaked in 2010 when no fewer than five celebrities were aged 60 or over, including politician and novelist Ann Widdecombe, 62, actress Felicity Kendal, 64, and Paul Daniels, who was 72 at the time.

Strictly Come Dancing: age gap between youngest and oldest contestants graphic

This year’s series is the only occasion, apart from 2015, when all the participants have been below 60.

Here are some other statistics about the 2017 series of Strictly Come Dancing:

:: Just 34 years separate the oldest and youngest celebrities: the joint smallest age range in the show’s history.

:: The youngest competitor will be 24-year-old paralympian Jonnie Peacock.

Paralympian Jonnie Peacock

:: The average age of contestants is just under 42 years old, which is the highest since 2013. In that year, celebrities such as Dragons’ Den businesswoman Deborah Meaden, 54, and presenter Vanessa Feltz, 51, brought the average to 44.

:: Despite the narrower age difference, the latest series may still be one of the most diverse on record. For the third year running 27% of contestants are non-white, there is a disabled competitor for the first time, and two participants – radio presenter Reverend Richard Coles and comedian Susan Calman – are gay.

Press Association

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