Monday 16 September 2019

Strictly Come Dancing 2019: The full list of contestants as Anneka Rice joins line-up

Strictly Come Dancing 2019: This year’s full line-up (PA Wire/PA)
Strictly Come Dancing 2019: This year’s full line-up (PA Wire/PA)

The celebrity contestants confirmed for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing include two soap stars, two footballers, a rower and a YouTuber.

Here is a rundown of who will be putting their best foot forward on the dance floor:

– Anneka Rice

The veteran broadcaster, known for her TV programme Challenge Anneka, was the 15th and final contestant to be announced. At 60, she is this year’s oldest star taking part.

Rice was announced on Steve Wright’s BBC Radio 2 show, and said: “I have never danced in front of one member of my family or anyone who knows me.

“I haven’t danced since I was seven, since I was sacked from ballet because I looked like a big pudding, a rice pudding, that was my nickname. She sent me home because I was plain and podgy, so I haven’t danced since because I’ve had a complete thing about it.”

Read more: Anneka Rice joins most diverse line-up in history of Strictly Come Dancing

– James Cracknell

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James Cracknell (John Walton/PA)

Rower Cracknell was revealed as the penultimate celebrity on this year’s Strictly line-up on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, where he said he has the support of his children and ex-wife Beverley Turner.

The sports star, 47, won rowing gold medals at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics and earlier this year became the oldest university Boat Race winner.

He said: “Having spent so many years mucking around in a rowing boat with big men in tight Lycra, it’s time I learned a new skill.”

Read more: In Pictures: This year’s Strictly Come Dancing contestants

– Dev Griffin

The BBC Radio 1 host is best known for presenting the station’s weekend afternoon show, but Strictly will not be his first foray into reality TV.

He has also competed on the BBC’s Celebrity MasterChef, getting through to the final, and appeared on Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins for Stand Up To Cancer.

Hackney-born Griffin, 34, began his career in children’s television on BBC Two before moving to BBC 1Xtra and then BBC Radio 1.

Announcing the news on air, Griffin admitted he had not told his mother he was competing because he knew she would not have been able to keep it a secret.

Read more:

– Alex Scott

The former Arsenal and England star is known for her fancy footwork on the pitch, and now she hopes to be able to nail an Argentine tango on the dance floor.

The 34-year-old, who is now a sports pundit on the BBC and Sky, told Radio 1Xtra DJ Ace that that particular dance has the “passion and the energy” that inspires her.

Scott already has Strictly experience under her belt, as she took part in last year’s Sport Relief special, which she won with professional dancer Pasha Kovalev.

Jamie Laing

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Made In Chelsea’s Jamie Laing joins Strictly: Mum can finally be proud of me (Chris J Ratcliffe/PA)
 

Jamie Laing is best known for starring in E4's structured reality series Made In Chelsea since 2011.

He has appeared in numerous other TV shows, such as the celebrity charity version of the Great British Bake Off and Celebrity Hunted, and he is also a businessman, having launched his gourmet range of sweets, Candy Kittens, in 2012.

Laing said: "I am beyond thrilled to be asked to be on Strictly, the only person potentially more thrilled is my mother.

"I have finally become the son she hoped for!"

– Will Bayley

Will is a table tennis Paralympic champion and in 2017 was awarded an MBE for his services to table tennis.

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Will Bayley (Adam Davy/PA)

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.”

– Michelle Visage

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Michelle Visage

The US TV personality is probably best known for being a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race. She has also been a judge on Ireland’s Got Talent.

The TV personality said doing Strictly in the UK is a “dream”.

She added: “I’m so excited to show that being 50 doesn’t mean life stops. Things may not work like they did when I was 20, but 50 also means fabulous!”

“There are plenty of women like me out there who still ‘got it’ and we still ‘plan to use it!’ so slap on the sequins, point me to the dance floor and watch me Paso my Doble!”

– Emma, Viscountess Weymouth

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Emma Weymouth (Ian West/PA)

Viscountess Weymouth is married to Viscount Weymouth whose family runs Longleat safari park.

The 33-year-old is also a chef with her own brand, Emma’s Kitchen, and contributes to British Vogue.

She said she is looking forward to the “dancing and the fabulous outfits”, adding: “I know it will be such an amazing experience from start to finish.”

– Karim Zeroual

The children’s television presenter was the seventh celebrity contestant to be announced.

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Programme Name: BBC Summer Social 2019 – TX: 03/08/2019 – Episode: BBC Summer Social 2019 (No. n/a) – Picture Shows: Karim Zeroual – (C) BBC – Photographer: Steve Farrell

The 25-year-old has been a CBBC presenter since 2014. He has a theatre background and has performed in shows including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Lion King.

He said he is looking forward to being “Strictlified”, adding: “The more flamboyant the better … sequins galore please!!”

– Mike Bushell

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BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell is ready to tackle Strictly (Barrington Coombs/PA)

The sports presenter is a familiar face to BBC Breakfast viewers as he presents its main sports bulletins.

He said of his forthcoming Strictly stint: “I know I will completely throw myself into the whole experience and I’m sure will love it from start to finish.

“I may have tried and profiled over 500 sports over the years in my Saturday morning BBC Breakfast slot but think the Strictly challenge could be the greatest. Bring on the glitter!”

Last year he made headlines when he fell into a swimming pool during a live interview on BBC Breakfast.

– Catherine Tyldesley

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Catherine Tyldesley was the fifth celebrity announced for Strictly (Matt Crossick/PA)

The former Coronation Street star is swapping the cobbles for the dance floor.

Speaking on ITV’s This Morning, where the announcement was made, she said she was terrified of taking part due to a lack of dancing skills.

In a message on Instagram, Tyldesley added: “Beyond excited!!!! And TERRIFIED!!! Can’t wait!! Thanks for all your messages already! Here we go!!! Hold onto your jazz shoes- it’s gonna be a bumpy/clumsy ride!”.

The 35-year-old said farewell to her Corrie character, Eva Price, in 2018 after seven years in the role.

– Saffron Barker

The YouTube star was the fourth contestant to be announced.

The 19-year-old has a whopping four million followers across her social media channels and in 2017 published her book Saffron Barker Vs Real Life.

She said she is looking forward to experiencing the “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” of Strictly.

Last year YouTube star Joe Sugg made it through to the final.

– David James

The football veteran was the first of three celebrity contestants announced live on BBC’s The One Show last Wednesday.

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David James (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Goalkeeper James won 53 England caps and has played for teams including Liverpool, Aston Villa and Portsmouth.

He went on to enjoy a successful presenting career, including a full-time role as a pundit for BT Sport’s coverage of the Premier League.

He said: “I’m really excited to be on Strictly this year. Not just competing against this year’s stars, but being compared to previous sport stars from previous Strictly seasons. I have some big shoes to fill, #LetsGetLive.”

– Emma Barton

The 42-year-old EastEnders actress is a self-confessed Strictly super-fan and said that, while she is traditionally a “dance around your handbag kinda girl”, she is looking forward to learning all the different dances on Strictly.

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Emma Barton (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The star, who plays Honey Mitchell in the BBC One soap, added: “I’m whipping off Honey’s Minute Mart tabard and diving right in to all the glitter and sparkle.”

Her other TV roles include BBC series Spooks and she is no stranger to the West End, having starred in Chicago, Annie and One Man, Two Guvnors.

– Chris Ramsey

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Chris Ramsey (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The comedian said he is looking forward to “the possibility of making a fool of myself in front of millions of people”.

The 32-year-old has hosted two series of The Chris Ramsey Show, which aired on Comedy Central, and also starred in Geordie sitcom Hebburn.

He and his wife Rosie host a podcast called Shagged, Married, Annoyed.

Read more: Strictly 2019: Which star should dance with which pro?

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