The full line-up for Strictly Come Dancing 2016 has been announced!

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  • The full line up for Strictly Come Dancing has now been announced!

    As the world of ballroom dancing on Saturday evenings draws ever closer, news of who will and won’t be gracing our TV screens has now been announced and we couldn’t be more excited to see these stars in action.

    The Strictly stars: Who’s joining the show?

    Greg Rutherford

    Team GB’s golden boy Greg Rutherford, 29, will be going from one sporting competition to another as he jumps straight into Strictly from the Olympics this Autumn.

    We’re guessing he won’t need to work on his fitness for those gruelling routines but long jumping is very different to the salsa and we can’t wait to see how Greg takes it up.

    Greg’s Strictly spot was announced on The One Show and although it may be out of his comfort zone, it sounds like he is up for the challenge, ‘I love being challenged and taking to the Strictly ballroom is like nothing I have ever done before – doing this is definitely a long jump from my day job for sure!’

    Tameka Empson

    Tameka Empson could be swapping the East End for the West End after signing up for the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing.

    Actress and comedian Tameka is best known for appearing in the hidden-camera comedy sketch show 3 Non-Blondes and now for her full time role as Kim Fox in EastEnders.

    Tameka’s place in the Strictly line up was announced on The One Show, taking one of the final spots that still had people guessing for the show.

    For Tameka, 39, this is a long time coming, ‘I have been waiting for years to take part in Strictly and I’m so excited that finally I get to show the nation my moves! It’s always been a dream and I can’t wait to get started!’

    Lesley Joseph

    Actress Lesley Joseph has been announced as the 13th star to waltz across our TV screens on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.

    Best known for her role in Birds of a Feather, Lesley will bring a glittering acting career with her that will no doubt contribute to her persona’s in her performances.

    Lesley, 70, said of her excitement at starting the show, ‘Strictly is an iconic show and I have always loved the glamour and the dedication and the entertainment and this year it suddenly seemed right to take part. I am scared and excited and apprehensive and thrilled to be a part of this wonderful show and I will try my best and enjoy this amazing experience!’

    Robert ‘Judge’ Rinder

    The TV barrister will be swapping the courtroom for the ballroom as he is the 12th star to sign up for the new series of Strictly.

    Judge Rinder may be used to dishing out his own judgements on his TV show, but it looks like he will have to get used to facing the Strictly judges this autumn.

    Speaking about joining the show, Robert said: ‘The only thing I knew would make my grandmother more proud than watching my TV courtroom was to see me dressed up in white tie doing the Foxtrot. So although I suspect the latter will be far more difficult, I am doing Strictly Come Dancing for her. No doubt the judges will be as fair, kind and thoughtful as me (especially the charming Craig Revel Horwood). I shall await their verdicts’.

    We’re used to seeing Robert hand out brilliantly insulting quips on his show, Judge Rinder, so we’re excited to see what he can do on the dance floor!

    Claudia Fragapane

    This young gymnast has been wowing us with her floor work at the Rio 2016 games, and come Autumn she’ll be wowing us on the dance floor too!

    Claudia Fragapane, 18, is one of the stars of Team GB and has been delivering some impressive routines in the 2016 Olympic games. She specialises in floor and vault and has an impressive history of taking home gold already, when back in 2014 she won four gold medals for England at the Commonwealth Games.

    Claudia can’t wait to start her Strictly training and is already excited to swap the glittery costumes she wears when performing gymnastics, for those she will wear on the Strictly stage.

    She said of starting the show, ‘I am a really big fan of Strictly Come Dancing and am so excited to be chosen to take part this year. I am used to performing in front of big crowds but this is going to be so different to my floor routines in gymnastics, but I love a challenge and performing! I also love dressing up and wearing sparkly costumes!’


    Remember Anastacia of ‘I’m Outta Love’ fame? Well, she’s swapping singing for dancing shoes, as she’s just been announced as the tenth contestant on this year’s show.

    Chris Evans accidentally let the news slip on his Radio 2 show, teasing that he’d be speaking to the next contestant shortly, but saying ‘Anast-‘ before realising his gaffe.

    When Anastacia’s role was officially confirmed after the break, she told Chris, ‘Believe it or not it’s been something that has been an interest, I’ve been asked before, but not been able to go. I did the show last year as far as singing for the first time and I was gobsmacked. I knew all the people. I knew all the dancers.’

    ‘They didn’t realise I was a fan of the show and the asked if I’d ever do it and I said, “I would but I’d stink!”‘

    ‘The seed was planted twelve months ago [during her appearance as a singer on the show]. It definitely wasn’t a done deal. But I was game. The fact that I was game and they were willing to fly me over and plop me down here for a little while. Absolutely nothing, I’m serious. I’m not lying about it at all. I just finished 62 dates on tour so I’m really good at rhythm and side stepping as far as to my own music,’ she added.

    We’re sure she’s selling herself a little short with her comments, but we can’t wait to see Anastacia’s moves when she finally hits the dance floor!

    Naga Munchetty

    BBC presenter Naga Munchetty is also set to join the Strictly Come Dancing line up.

    Although we’re used to seeing Naga on the BBC Breakfast sofa, the presenter will soon be putting on her dancing shoes for the latest series.

    The news broke on the BBC Breakfast show, when fellow presenter and former strictly contestant Carol Kirkwood announced Naga would be taking part.

    Although Naga admitted to being ‘petrified’ about the series, she said she was also ‘mega excited’

    She also revealed who she would love as a dancing partner… and it might not be who you’d expect.

    Naga said: ‘Do you know who I really, really like which I know I’m definitely not going to get… Karen. She’s a pocket rocket, full of fire, she’s fantastic and I think she’d be able to whip me into shape.’

    Fellow presenters Carol and Sally Nungent gave Naga a box of Strictly essentials including some very glittery plasters ‘for the blisters’, eyelashes and sparkly nails.

    Daisy Lowe

    Fashion model and personality Daisy Lowe is the eighth celebrity contestant to be confirmed for Strictly this September!

    Daisy said of the announcement, which broke on the Strictly Come Dancing social media accounts, ‘I am used to being on the catwalk and campaigns of major fashion brands with lots of eyes on me but this is completely different from anything I have ever done before!’

    Since her career began at 15, Daisy has starred in major fashion campaigns for the likes of Chanel and Topshop, and continues to appear in advertising campaigns and at fashion shows across the globe. She’s also turned her hand to baking and released a desert cookery book, Sweetness and Light, which is filled with tasty treats that aren’t too naughty.

    Although she’s known for attending glamorous parties and hanging out with celebrities, Daisy still loves to catch up on TV when she’s at home, ‘My family and friends and I adore Strictly, so when the chance came up to take part – I jumped at it! I am itching to get started and am so looking forward to learning a new skill.’

    Danny Mac

    Former Hollyoaks star Danny Mac is the seventh celebrity contestant to be confirmed for Strictly this September!

    The announcement was made today on Strictly’s Twitter and Facebook pages. Danny says: ‘I’m as terrified as I am excited! I’ve done a few bits and bobs of secret filming for the show and it’s all become very real now. I can’t believe that I am now part of the biggest show on television and I cannot wait to get started.’

    Danny has been a professional actor since he was 10. After a number of roles in his childhood and teenage years, he starred in the multi-award winning West End production of ‘Wicked’ for four years, performing in the ensemble and as the understudy for Boq – one of the lead male characters.

    Danny then moved to Liverpool in 2011 to play the part of Mark ‘Dodger’ Savage. His character was hugely popular, and Danny gained a massive fan base with the public. Over his four years on the show, Danny was nominated at the National Television Awards for Best Newcomer, Most Popular Newcomer, and Best Serial Drama Performance. He was also voted three times as Soap’s Sexiest Man at the Inside Soap Awards, and twice Sexiest Male at the British Soap Awards.

    Louise Redknapp

    Presenter and former pop star Louise Redknapp is the sixth celebrity contestant to be confirmed for the new series of Strictly this September.

    She announced the news this afternoon live on Steve Wright in the Afternoon on BBC Radio 2.

    ‘I’ve sung in front of crowds of thousands before but the idea of stepping out onto that famous dance floor with a world class professional dancer gives me butterflies just thinking about it! I’m a big fan of the show and am definitely going to go out there and give it 100% as I want to make my boys proud’, she said.

    Louise used to be in the 90s girl band Eternal, before having a super successful solo career. Eternal were the first all-girl group to sell over 1 million albums in the UK and stay as the best selling girl band of the 90s. Louise started her solo career in 1995 and her first album, Naked, had five hits, selling over 1 million copies. She released four more albums over the next couple of years before having a final UK tour.

    Louise now runs the well-known fashion and lifestyle blog, A Style Album.

    We can’t wait to see how she does on the show!

    Melvin Odoom

    Melvin Odoom is the newest addition to the 2016 Strictly Come Dancing line up, and you’ll love what the DJ has revealed he’s most looking forward to!

    Announcing his place as the fifth celebrity to join the programme on his breakfast radio show this morning, the KISS FM DJ couldn’t be happier.

    He said, ‘I’m honoured to be part of Strictly 2016! I’m looking forward to learning some new moves of course… but basically it’s the sequins that clinched it for me. I need sparkle in my life and there’s nothing more sparkly than Strictly. I just hope that my dance partner isn’t too tall’

    Melvin is popular for not only pumping out the best R’n’B tunes but also being a former presenter of The Xtra Factor with Rochelle Humes. Good luck Melvin!

    Ore Oduba

    Ore Oduba is the fourth celebrity contestant to be confirmed for the brand new series of Strictly Come Dancing. The news broke on the official Strictly social media accounts on Thursday night, and it seems there are some pretty big Ore fans out there. One Twitter user wrote ‘I cannot wait for this!’ and another, ‘my wife will be happy’.

    Ore is a sports broadcaster and a regular face on BBC Breakfast, who has covered some huge events including the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Queen’s 90th birthday and the London Marathon.

    Now Ore reveals he’s more than ready to jump into the spotlight himself, ‘I’m still waiting for someone to wake me up and tell me I’m dreaming!!! I’ve been such a huge fan of the show for over a decade. So to actually take to the Strictly stage myself, I don’t think I’ve been more nervously excited – aside from on my wedding day. Let’s hope for fewer tears! I cannot wait to get started, it’s going to be so much fun.’

    Laura Whitmore

    One of our favourite presenters has been added to the line-up! Laura Whitmore was confirmed as the third celebrity to be joining Strictly this morning on The Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw, where she had lots to say about her new project.

    ‘I have watched Strictly and been obsessed with the show since series 1. It’s an incredible show and I feel so honoured to be asked to part of it. I’m not going to lie, I’m slightly petrified too!’ she said.

    Laura first came to our screens when she beat 300 other people to win a spot on MTV, and she’s been wildly successful ever since. Reporting from different music and film festivals worldwide, and interviewing some of the biggest names in showbiz like Coldplay and Justin Bieber, she then went on to host ITV2’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here Now. This year, she’s hosted online coverage of the BAFTAs and also The Brits Are Coming on ITV.

    Will Young

    He’s got a Brit Award and millions of record sales under his belt, but Will Young is also now in the running for the Glitterball trophy!

    After lots of tweets that teasingly hinted that he’d be joining the line-up, Will has spoken out about his excitement on being on the show.

    ‘As a fan of Strictly for years, I have always imagined myself on the show, but the timing has not been right… until now! Music is my passion and the dancing I have done has always been with a microphone in hand.

    ‘Now there will be no microphone or band, just me, my partner and the dance floor. Strictly is a show with fantastic live music and has an ethos of positivity and growth. I practice these two things every day, and I will try my hardest to be the best dancer possible.’

    Will won Pop Idol way back in 2002 and instantly sprung to fame with his hit single ‘Leave Right Now’. He’s had a wildly successful music career and has also done his his fair share of acting, appearing in BBC’s Mrs Henderson Presents and in The Mirror Crack’d From Side To Side. He also won an Oliver Award for his MC role in Cabaret.

    The BBC have revealed that the third contestant will be revealed live on The Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw on Wednesday 10th August. Watch this space!

    Ed Balls

    Former MP Ed Balls announced that he will be joining Strictly on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show, saying, ‘I’d like to say I’m just really excited about learning to dance on TV, but the truth is I’m also scared to death.

    ‘Making a speech in Parliament seems a piece of cake compared to this, but hopefully I can stick around for a couple of weeks, and have a lot of fun in the process.

    ‘Strictly is a firm favourite in our living room, and it feels like a dream to be going on myself, especially for Len’s last series. I’m just hoping it doesn’t turn into a nightmare too quickly!’

    The 49-year-old former politician and writer is best known as the UK Shadow Chancellor from 2011-2015. He also served in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families from 2007-2010.

    Since his days in Parliament, Ed has become a visiting professor of King’s College London, a Senior Fellow at Harvard University, and the chairman of his home town football club Norwich City. He also appeared on The Great Sport Relief Bake Off earlier this year.

    The BBC have promised that more celebrities will be announced very soon – keep an eye out for updates!

    The Professionals

    The latest series of Strictly will also see three new professional dancers grace the ballroom floor. The talented trio have now been revealed as Neil Jones, AJ Pritchard and Chloe Hewitt.

    AJ and his partner Chloe won one of the biggest championships in the world in 2015, becoming the British Open Youth Latin Champions as well as European Youth Latin Champions. They were also the National Youth Latin Champions for three years in a row.

    But the two new dancers are also some of the youngest we’ve seen on the show. When Strictly Come Dancing first aired in 2004, AJ was only nine years old and Chloe was eight. At 20 years old, Chloe is the youngest ever dancer on the show!

    Well now we feel old…

    The pair are both very excited to be joining the new series. In a statement, AJ said: ‘Watch out Strictly, here I come, it is going to be amazing and I feel ecstatic!’ while Chloe added: ‘My childhood dream of being on Strictly Come Dancing is now reality! The sheer excitement is exhilarating and I cannot wait to be part of the strictly family.’

    Meanwhile, third newcomer Neil Jones has a few dancing accomplishments of his own. He is the undefeated four-time British National Champion, and also won the Amateur Latin Championships three times with his wife Katya Jones (who is also joining the show this year). Neil said: ‘I am so thrilled to be joining the cast of Strictly Come Dancing! As a British dancer I have grown up watching this amazing show, it is a massive honour and I am feeling pumped and excited to be part of the Strictly family.’

    Neil Jones will be joining the show when it begins in the autumn

    The three will join the list of other new dancers, including world champion Katya Jones, Ukrainian champion Oksana Platero and Spanish dancer Gorka Marquez.

    We can’t wait to see them all in action!

    The Strictly stars: Who’s not returning?

    Fans have been left devastated by the news that beloved head judge Len Goodman will be leaving the show.

    Len has announced that although he’ll be sticking around for this year’s series, 2016 will be his last hurrah with the Strictly team.

    The 72 year old released a statement on his decision, saying, ‘In 2004, I was asked to take part in a brand new BBC Saturday night show and who would have thought me, old Len Goodman, would still be part of this amazing series more than 10 years on.’

    ‘This adventure began when I was 60 and now that I’ve reached my 70s, I’ve decided after this year it’s time to hand the role of Head Judge to someone else. It is an honour being part of the wonderful Strictly Come Dancing family and I’m looking forward to my last series very much and to whatever comes next.’

    And there’s even more sad news for fans of professional dancer Gleb Savchenko, who has revealed that he won’t be returning for this year’s show due to family commitments. He said: ‘I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the last series of Strictly Come Dancing and especially the way that the UK gave me such a warm welcome but due to family commitments I won’t be returning to the show for the next series – I’ll definitely be tuning in though.’

    A BBC spokesperson added: ‘Strictly extends its thanks to those who announced at the end of last series that they wouldn’t be returning to the show, and to Gleb Savchenko, who has decided that due to family commitments he will not be appearing in the next series.’

    The dancer, who was partnered up with Countryfile presenter Anita Rani, made it to the semi finals.

    Many people took to Twitter after his official announcement on the social media site, to show their disappointment that the hunk wouldn’t be returning to their TV screens.

    Four other professional dancers also announced they wouldn’t be returning to the show at the end of last year including Tristan MacManus, Ola Jordan, Kristina Rihanoff and Aliona Vilani.

    The Strictly stars: Who’s coming back?

    Returning to the Strictly dance floor with the three new dancers will be the male dancers Anton du Beke, Brendan Cole, Kevin Clifton, Pasha Kovalev, Aljaž Škorjanec and Giovanni Pernice.

    The female dancers include Karen Clifton, Natalie Lowe, Joanne Clifton, Janette Manrara and Oti Mabuse.

    Talking us through their fancy footwork will be hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly, who have both been confirmed for the new series, as well as Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood, who will join Len for his final series.

    Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One in September.