It’s that time of year again which means we’re eagerly counting down to the return of Strictly and things are certainly starting to hot up with the identities of several contestants being revealed this week. So, without further ado, here’s the lowdown on who’s in the line up.
1) Katie Piper
The 34 year old former model was the first of the Strictly 2018 line up to be revealed with the announcement made on the BBC Breakfast television programme. Responding to the announcement, Piper expressed her excitement about the opportunity but revealed that she often struggled to even clap in time. “I don’t have natural rhythm” the celebrity said when asked about her dancing skills. “I feel so privileged and excited to be part of my favourite show on TV. I already know how much of an amazing experience it will be for me and I can’t wait to show my girls some of my new dance moves. I’m nervous to put on my dancing shoes but can’t wait to learn a new skill and have the Strictly tan and makeover!”
2) Faye Tozer
Former Steps singer Tozer was the second star to be confirmed for the series. Her inclusion in the line up was announced on the One show. The celebrity said “Being on Strictly is literally a dream come true! It’s everything my nine-year-old self ever wanted from showbiz and I’m going to relish every moment!”
The star, who has also forged a successful stage and tv career, has considerable dancing experience from her days in the popular nineties pop band. The group achieved considerable success between 1997 and 2001 with a string of catchy hits and a clever gimmick that involved including instructions for each song’s dance routine with the CD of the track. In their four years together, Steps sold a total of over 25 million records worldwide.
3) Danny John-Jules
The third star to be announced for the series was John-Jules – Cat from the popular comedy sci-fi show Red Dwarf. He said “having spent the last few months on two wheels motorcycling around South America in pink leathers, I’m absolutely delighted to be getting back on two feet and into something more comfortable like glittery spandex.”
The actor recently appeared as a recurring character in the BBC1 drama Death in Paradise and was once a backing dancer in a George Michael video (The Edge of Heaven). Jules has also danced alongside his Red Dwarf co-stars for Comic Relief. Whether any of this will stand John in good stead for the Strictly ballroom however is anyone’s guess however.
4) Joe Sugg
The fourth Strictly 2018 contestant was revealed by BBC Radio 1’s Scott Mills. The DJ teased listeners to his radio show by making Sugg disguise his voice with a vocal changer while he quizzed him. As the star revealed more about his involvement in the show, Mills finally announced the identity of his mysterious guest. “All I want to do is get to Blackpool!” laughed You Tube blogger Sugg when Mills asked him about his hopes for the show. “My granny used to dance there and she’s in her 90s now so I’d like to get there” he added. The star also revealed how difficult it had been to keep the news of his inclusion to himself in the days before the announcement. “It was incredibly hard to keep quiet because I like asking people’s opinions on decisions I make” Sugg said.
5) Vicky Hope
Radio DJ Vicki Hope was the fifth star to be confirmed for the Strictly 2018 line up. The celebrity, who currently hosts Capital FM’s breakfast show with Roman Kemp, admitted that she was “honoured” to be included in the cast but confessed that she didn’t have much dancing experience. “I used to do contemporary dance” Hope said. “I’d pretend to be a tree or a rock. I don’t know how helpful that’s going to be…”
6) Graeme Swann
Is ex-England cricketer Graeme Swann about to follow in the uncoordinated footsteps of the likes of John Sergeant and Ed Balls as Strictly 2018’s Awkward Dad Dancer. The Northampton born star revealed that his biggest Strictly worry was “just getting it wrong. I’ve never been taught how to dance. I don’t know anything!” The star also revealed his worries about getting his chest waxed for the show as “my pain threshold is so low.”
7) Dr Ranj Singh
“Absolutely shaking” was how This Morning’s Dr Ranj Singh described his reaction to hearing that he had been chosen to take part in Strictly 2018. The star’s inclusion in the line up was revealed by Eamonn Holmes on breakfast television. The personable doctor was the seventh star to be confirmed for the show. Since the announcement of his inclusion was confirmed, the gay medic has revealed that he would like to be part of the show’s first same sex couple. The possibility of two men or two women dancing together on the show has been hotly debated in recent years and the 39 year old doctor has now weighed in on the issue, saying “I would love to dance with a same sex partner. I would value a time when same sex couples could dance on shows like Strictly. It is incredibly important.”
8) Stacey Dooley
With these words, the official Strictly Twitter account announced the identity of the show’s eighth contestant – Stacey Dooley. The investigative journalist responded to the tweet with one of her own saying “It’s happening! I’m taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year and my mother is going to explode.”
The presenter, best-known for her hard hitting documentaries on such topics as child labour, drugs, child soldiers and sex trafficking, said of the dramatic change of pace “I am ready to embrace the glitter. Typically, work for me is very serious and can be quite hard core so I’m going to soak up the escapism and bathe in the sequins. See you on the dance floor!”
The identity of the ninth Strictly star was meant to be revealed on Chris Evans’ Radio 2 show. However things didn’t go to plan and the news was inadvertently revealed on the official Strictly Twitter account as former Pussycat Doll Roberts drove to the radio station.
After reading the tweet, the exasperated star tweeted back, quoting the original tweet. The star said “En route to @achrisevans Heard ya mentioned my name already. Why did I have to get up so early!?!”
The star later added a further more good natured tweet. It read: “So… the pussycat’s out the bag!! Ahhh sooo beyond excited for this adventure!!! CAN’T WAIT!! #strictly.”
Roberts subsequently revealed her motivation for going on the show. “Daisy Lowe loved it, Flacky [Caroline Flack] said it was one of her favourite projects” Roberts told the BBC. “Pixie [Lott] and Laura [Whitmore] loved it! ‘So I’m excited to dive into my own experience.”
The singer left the Pussycat Dolls in 2010 and since then the 5ft 2in singer has appeared in several tv shows including I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! in 2012 and Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.
10) Kate Silverton
Shortly after the news about Ashley Roberts had filtered out, the 10th & 11th Strictly contestants were named. The 10th celebrity is Kate Silverton. The BBC News presenter will be swapping the newsroom for the Strictly ballroom after agreeing to appear on this year’s show.
The presenter said: “It’s something of a departure for a news journalist, shifting focus from the headlines to my hemlines and I suspect the only serious element of my life over the coming months will be in training hard and figuring out the foxtrot… but I am so looking forward to the fun, laughter and all the challenges ahead”.
11) Sean Walsh
The 11th Strictly contestant is Sean Walsh, who is best know for his appearances on panel show Virtually Famous and as a regular on Play To The Whistle. The celebrity said he was excited to be part of the show. “Having seen videos of me dancing on friends’ phones from the night before, it’s safe to say I’m petrified but also so excited” he said. “I’m really looking forward to the lifts, the Lycra and the laughs, although as Craig would probably say ‘dancing is no laughing matter dahhhhling…”.
12) Lee Ryan
The twelfth contestant for the glitterball trophy was unmasked on Loose Women on Monday afternoon. Singer turned actor Lee Ryan reacted to the announcement by expressing his excitement at being selected to take part in the popular BBC1 show. ‘I’m so excited to be joining this year’s Strictly line-up. It is a real honour for me and I can’t wait to get out on the dance floor,’ said the Eastenders actor. Ryan is the second member of the pop band Blue to take part in the show after his friend Simon Webbe graced the Strictly ballroom in 2014.
13) Lauren Steadman
Sportswoman Steadman became the 13th contestant to be revealed on Monday afternoon. The paratriathlete confessed that not even her closet relatives knew about her inclusion in the show. ‘I think it’s a tie between my sister and my great grandma. They have no idea.’ she said when asked who would be most shocked by the announcement of her participation in the show. The young athlete also laughed off suggestions that being the 13th celebrity named for the show would bring her bad luck.
14) Susannah Constantine
Trinny and Susannah’s Susannah Constantine was the 14th contestant named for the show. Her identity was revealed on ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Tuesday morning. ‘I am sick with nerves and jangling with excitement,’ said the celebrity as her participation in the show was revealed. “I’m starting from a very low bar, and that’s fine because I can only improve’ she added.
15) Charles Venn
Venn has become a household name not to mention a heartthrob with significant parts in two long running soap operas – Eastenders and Casualty. The actor said ‘It truly is a pleasure to be a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, to be associated with a show that has such a huge following excites and scares me in equal measure! ‘Dancing on Strictly is going to be quite a challenge but life’s all about testing yourself so there’s lots to look forward to, let the games begin..!’
More information on Strictly 2018 can be found here.
Information on other great TV to watch can be found here.