It’s time to ‘keep dancing’ as Strictly Come Dancing is preparing for its next series, with a number of contestants already announced for the 2021 show. There has been six names announced so far, and there’s lots of variety – Peep Show comic Robert Webb, TV presenter AJ Odudu and McFly’s Tom Fletcher. Read more: Strictly Come Dancing bosses ‘ban’ reality TV stars for 2021 series Great British Bake Off winner John Waite is also taking to the dancefloor, in the show’s first ever all-male dance partnership, The Mirror reports. On Monday, it was revealed that Dragon’s Den star Sara Davies will be testing out her dance skills – with her appointment coming hot on the heels of Friday’s confirmation that CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson would also be taking to the dance floor later this year.
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Webb, 48, has already won one BBC dancing competition after triumphing in Let’s Dance for Comic Relief in 2009 where he wore a leotard and performed the What A Feelin’ sequence from the movie Flashdance. And he may well play it again for laughs this year. Webb said: “I am ludicrously excited to be taking part in Strictly this year. It’s a big, generous, joyful show and I can’t wait to get packed into a spandex onesie and fired from a glitter cannon directly at Claudia Winkleman. “At least I think that’s what happens. My goal is to try and survive from week to week without causing serious injury to myself or innocent bystanders. I know it’s going to be a challenge. To do well in this competition is a test of character, although mainly it’s a test of dancing.” To sign up for the Hull Live newsletter, click here.
There is a strong line up for the 2021 show, with more contestants to be announced
On the morning of the operation, there was a problem with the intensive care unit and the hospital tried to delay surgery until the cardiologist told the surgeon: “You can’t send him home for five days, he isn’t going to last two days.” During surgery, Webb also lost two-thirds of his blood cells. “So it was all,” he said, “a bit touch and go.” AJ Odudu will be appearing on the BBC dancing show Speaking last year, Webb added at the time that it has changed his outlook on life, saying: “The first thing you want to do is start taking it for granted again. On the other hand I certainly felt that my own death is now not this very, very mysterious or foreign thing any more. It’ll be a day like this. “And I’ll be wearing clothes like this, and I’ll get out of a bed like the bed I got out of this morning. I’ve got the shape of it. I can weigh its dimensions. And I feel more chilled out about it because I think I can see it. I’m more relaxed, and it’s a relief.”
Tom Fletcher was confirmed as the first Strictly star
Also getting ready for months of fake tan and sequins is singer and author Tom Fletcher. Less than a year after his wife Giovanna Fletcher won I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! in Wales, Tom will try to lift the Glitterball trophy. And to add more pressure his bandmate Harry Judd has already won Strictly in 2011. Fletcher said: “I think the fact that I’m actually going to be dancing on Strictly this year has only just started to sink in while I’m writing this! I’m incredibly excited, of course, but also totally terrified! “My kids were excited too until I started showing them my best dad-dancing in the kitchen. I’m not sure how far they’ll get me in the competition but I can’t wait to add some new moves to my embarrassing dad-dancing repertoire.”
TV presenter AJ Odudu
Alongside his music career, Tom is also one of the UK’s bestselling authors for children, with his books, including The Christmasaurus, The Creakers and There’s a Monster in Your Book, going on to be translated into over 30 languages. Next up, and AJ said of taking part in the series: “I am beyond chuffed that I am going to be on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing and I’m so glad I can finally tell my mum. “Her face will be a picture, she’s going to be over the moon! I absolutely love the show and am fully committed to making the most of every second of the Strictly experience. Bring it on!” Meanwhile, baker John had his say on making history as he will be part of the show’s first ever all-male pairing.
Dragon’s Den star Sara Davies will be leaving the boardroom for the dancefloor
He said: “It is an honour, when they asked me if I would be interested I just bit their hand off. “To do that and represent the LGBTQ+ community is one thing, but also to see two men or two women dancing together, it is not necessarily about sexuality, it’s about intimacy and respect.” On Monday 9 August, Dragon’s Den star Sara Davies was uncovered as the latest celebrity preparing to take part in the show – and she said her children would have mixed feelings about her appearance. The 37-year-old mother-of-two was revealed as a 2021 contestant on Good Morning Britain where she told show host Ben Shephard – as well as former Strictly stars Charlotte Hawkins and Kate Garraway – that her children had been disappointed to see her on Dragon’s Den as they told her: “Where’s the den mammy?” She anticipates a similar disappointment when she tells them she will be on Strictly, and joked: “If I was going on Ninja Warrior, they would be right there!” More names will be announced in the coming days ahead of the BBC1 series starting next month and speaking earlier this week judge Shirley Ballas told ITV’s Loose Women that “of all panels, you have never seen such celebrities as you are going to see on this particular show”.
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This year’s Strictly will also see four new professional dancers take to the dance floor. They are Dancing With The Stars Ireland’s Kai Widdrington, former Let’s Dance Germany professional Nikita Kuzmin, reigning South African Latin champion Cameron Lombard and winner of The Greatest Dancer Jowita Przystal. Last year’s series was won by comedian Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse Strictly returns in September on BBC One. To sign up for the Hull Live newsletter, click here.