Get your glitterballs at the ready – Strictly Come Dancing is back!
Amidst the fears that Strictly wouldn’t be able to go ahead this year, the BBC has confirmed that the iconic show will return.
On Tuesday evening, the first three celebrities were announced by The One Show presenters Alex Jones and Amol Rajan. Actress Caroline Quentin was the first contestant to be announced, with Jason Bell (an American football player) and Max George (from the band The Wanted) also confirmed.
Throughout the week the rest of the Strictly line up has been revealed, with Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh, comedian Bill Bailey, BBC Radio One DJ Clara Amfo and Invictus Games medallist and ex Royal Marine Commando JJ Chalmers all confirmed for the coming season.
This year we will also see the return of Jamie Laing, who was forced to pull out due to an injury last year, who on his return commented, “Here we go again, hopefully, this time I can last long enough so my mum can see me dance”.
Another returning star is Eastenders actress Maisie Smith, who previously lifted the glitterball for the 2019 Children in Need special with partner Kevin Clifton. The actress, best known for playing Tiffany Butcher, stated she can’t wait to get started: “Get me in those sequins, I can’t wait to dive into the Strictly fancy dress box this winter! This is a dream come true.”
However, one contestant, in particular, is making Strictly history this year. Olympic boxer Nicola Adams will become the first-ever contestant to be part of a same-sex couple. This is a first for Strictly, as throughout the entirety of its 16 years on the television the show has always ensured dance partners consisted of one man and one woman. Nicola Adams commented, “it’s definitely time to move on and be more diverse, and this is a brilliant step in the right direction”.
News of Strictly’s first same-sex pairing comes after professional dancers Johannes Radebe and Graziano Di Prima performed the first same-sex dance last series with viewers describing it as “stunningly beautiful”.
Also revealed this week was HRVY (real name Harvey Leigh Cantwell). The 21-year-old singer and television presenter looks to be following in the footsteps of social media stars Joe Sugg and Saffron Barker.
Completing this year’s highly anticipated line up is the former (and first-ever female) Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith.
Although this year’s line up is much smaller than we are used to, it looks to be another great series!
Words by Neve Gordon-Farleigh
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