Tuesday 20 August 2019

Strictly Come Dancing 2019: The line-up so far as Dev Griffin and James Cracknell named as contestants

Strictly Come Dancing hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly (Ian West/PA)
Strictly Come Dancing hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly (Ian West/PA)
Made In Chelsea’s Jamie Laing joins Strictly: Mum can finally be proud of me (Chris J Ratcliffe/PA)
Will Bayley will take part in Strictly Come Dancing (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Emma Weymouth (Ian West/PA)
Michelle Visage
Catherine Tyldesley has previously said she adores Strictly (Ian West/PA)
Saffron Barker (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Chris Ramsey (Jonathan Brady/PA)
David James (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)
EastEnders actress Emma Barton (Jonathan Brady/PA)
BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell is ready to tackle Strictly (Barrington Coombs/PA)
Karim Zeroual (BBC/ Steve Farrell)

Kerri-Ann Roper

The celebrity contestants announced for this year's Strictly Come Dancing include two soap stars, a Paralympic champion, a football pundit, a reality TV star and a YouTuber.

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

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

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Will Bayley will take part in Strictly Come Dancing (Andrew Matthews/PA)
 

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

Bayley has suffered from arthrogryposis since birth, a rare condition which 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."

Michelle Visage

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Michelle Visage
 

TV personality Michelle Visage 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!"

Alex Scott

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Arsenal’s Alex Scott holds the trophy and celebrates after winning the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium in 2016 (Nick Potts/PA)

Former Arsenal captain and England player Alex Scott 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 sports star, 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 a Strictly experience under her belt, as she took part in last year's Sport Relief special, which she won with professional dancer Pasha Kovalev.

Emma, Viscountess Weymouth

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Emma Weymouth (Ian West/PA)
 

Viscountess Weymouth is married to Viscount Weymouth and the family run 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

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Karim Zeroual (BBC/ Steve Farrell)
 

Children's television presenter Karim Zeroual was the seventh celebrity contestant to be announced.

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)
 

Sports presenter Mike Bushell 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

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Saffron Barker (Jonathan Brady/PA)
 

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 Come Dancing.

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

David James

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David James (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)
 

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

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

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EastEnders actress Emma Barton (Jonathan Brady/PA)
 

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.

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 the Geordie sitcom Hebburn.

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

James Cracknell

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James Cracknell (John Walton/PA)
 

The double Olympic gold medallist, 47, is the latest signing for the BBC One dancing show.

He signed up after splitting from his wife, television presenter Beverley Turner.

The father-of-three said: “I’m really looking forward to being a part of Strictly this year.

“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.

“I need to apologise to my kids in advance for the embarrassment.”

Cracknell won rowing gold medals at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, and earlier this year became the oldest university boat race winner.

Dev Griffin

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Dev Griffin (Ian West/PA)

Strictly Come Dancing signing Dev Griffin co-hosts an afternoon show on BBC Radio 1.

But he began his career in TV when Griffin and a childhood friend piloted for a new children’s programme.

He later landed his own Saturday show on BBC Radio 1Xtra, before moving to Radio 1.

The 34-year-old currently co-hosts the 1pm to 4pm afternoon show, from Friday to Sunday, with Alice Levine.

Griffin got through to the final of Celebrity MasterChef in 2017, when his “posh and healthy” take on frozen crispy pancakes were a hit with the judges.

He later appeared on Channel 4’s SAS Who Dares Wins For Stand Up To Cancer but dropped out in the early stages of the gruelling contest.

Born in Hackney, Griffin is close friends with fellow presenter Reggie Yates.

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