Tuesday 20 August 2019

CONFIRMED: Des Bishop is first celebrity revealed for RTE's 'Dancing with the Stars'

Revealed: Des Bishop has been revealed as a contestant
Revealed: Des Bishop has been revealed as a contestant
In the swing: Amanda Byram and Nicky Byrne are the new hosts of RTE's new Show Dancing with the Stars
Nicky Byrne and Amanda Byram have confirmed that they are hosting Dancing With The Stars.

Melanie Finn and Sean O'Grady

Irish comedian Des Bishop is the first celebrity who has been confirmed for RTE's 'Dancing with the Stars'.

The 11 celebrity contestants for the debut RTE series are already in rehearsals - but their identities remained a secret until now.

"It's great, it's a super popular show," Bishop told Ryan Tubridy on the Late Late Show.

"I wasn't a big watcher, but I'm happy to be in Ireland and doing the show."

The comedian said he is busy juggling the new dance show with his satirical show, 'This Is Ireland'.

"All morning I learn my dance moves, like literally I obsess about dance moves.

"Then all afternoon I research serious subjects like drug vaccines and stuff, try and make jokes about that, try and memorise everything, then I go to bed and dream about not being prepared for the Leaving Cert."

Among those rumoured to be taking part in the glitter extravaganza is the newly-single Thalia Heffernan, according to the Herald's Diary.

Also linked with the show so far are RTE Western reporter Teresa Mannion, GAA player Aidan O'Mahony and Irish Big Brother star Hughie Maughan.

The chosen celebrities will spend the next few weeks trying to make sure they are dance-floor ready in a top-secret rehearsal location in Dublin's city centre.

An inside source revealed that the show will require "a significant commitment" from those taking part and it was going to be a very time-consuming programme.

"It doesn't start until January 8 but they have to start learning the routines now, in addition to the publicity they'll have to be doing as part of their contracts," she said.

"The show will run from January until March, so it's essentially three months long if you stay in it until the end. It was tricky to get the line-up right as they needed people who were well-known but had a significant gap in their schedule."

They will also be picking up a tidy pay cheque, with a minimum fee of more than €3,000 a week. UK-based presenter Amanda Byram has been tipped to front the Irish version of Strictly Come Dancing. 

New gig

The last TV show Nicky presented, The Million Euro Challenge, was slammed for being too confusing to follow and was quickly cancelled.

The Dublin man (38), who appeared on the BBC's Strictly come Dancing as a contestant in 2012, admitted he's relieved it will be different this time.

"I'm delighted I'm presenting a show where I don't have a mathematical equation to explain," he said.

"It's a format that's been proven around the world."

Nicky's co-host Amanda Byram insisted the pair will not try and emulate the presenting styles of Strictly Come Dancing hosts Tess Daly, Claudia Winkleman or Bruce Forsyth.

"I'm not thinking about differentiating from the English show at all. I'm a fan of the show but I haven't been watching it recently. I always try to do my own thing and trying to copy someone else is a disaster," she said.

The co-hosts feel lucky to have been chosen for the show ahead of other stars like Vogue Williams and Brian Dowling.

"There's many people that could have done this job and done it very well and thankfully they chose us," Nicky said.

"We have great chemistry and I think that's important. I've known Nicky since the Westlife days," Amanda said.

The Castleknock woman (43) will be commuting from London to host the series.

"I've always said I'd come back for the right opportunity and this felt so right. It all just fell into place," she said.

Dancing With The Stars airs on Sunday, January 8, at 6.30pm.

Spin-off show Can't Stop Dancing will be hosted by Blathnaid Treacy on Friday nights.

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