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Strictly Come Dancing 2021 Lineup

Laura Sanders

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Strictly Come Dancing 2021 Lineup

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Strictly Come Dancing is returning for its 19th series next month and some of the contestants have been revealed. The show will see its first ever all male partnership on the dance floor this year.

BBC One's hit reality series first came to TV screens in May 2004, with news presenter Natasha Kaplinksky and her dance partner, Brendan Cole, being handed the glitterball trophy.

Between 2006-2014, ITV's Dancing on Ice proved to be a worthy rival to Strictly. The show returned in January 2020, with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield as hosts.

Strictly bosses are drip-feeding us the contestants for this year, so make sure you check back regularly for updates about this year's lineup.

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 contestants

The first three contestants for the upcoming competition were revealed exclusively during The One Show on 4th August. The show's presenters Alex Jones and Amol Rajan spoke to the celebs about their Strictly debut.

AJ Odudu, TV Presenter

AJ Odudu on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)
AJ Odudu on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)

TV presenter AJ Odudu, who's best known for co-presenting Channel 5's Big Brother's Bit on the Side, alongside Emma Willis and Rylan Clark, will be getting her dancing shoes on this September.

"This is a dream come true," Odudu told The One Show's presenters during the big reveal. She said her mum is a huge fan of the show and will be ecstatic to know her daughter is now a contestant.

"I have seven siblings, and you know how parents say they don't have a favourite child, well this is it guys. This is favourite child status vibes," Odudu joked.

Robert Webb, Comedian

Robert Webb on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)
Robert Webb on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)

Also set to be hitting the Strictly dance floor this year are Peep Show's Robert Webb and McFly's Tom Fletcher.

Webb is best known for being one half of the double act Mitchell and Webb alongside David Mitchell. He's also an actor, writer and presenter.

"It's very very exciting, but with a slight underston of quivering terror," the comedian joked to The One Show's presenters.

Tom Fletcher, McFly band member

Tom Fletcher on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)
Tom Fletcher on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)

McFly's Tom Fletcher will be taking to the dancefloor 10 years after bandmate Harry Judd won the tenth series and took home the winning glitterball in 2012. "He's been giving me loads of advice already," Fletcher told The One Show's presenters.

"I feel equally excited and nervous. I feel so naked without a guitar on stage," he admitted. Alex Jones jokingly suggested he treat his dance partner like a guitar - we're not sure that'll sit well with the judges.

Fletcher's wife, Giovanna, won I'm a Celebrity in 2020, so no pressure Tom.

John Whaite, TV chef

John Whaite on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)
John Whaite on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)

TV chef John Whaite, who won the Bake Off last year, will be in the first all male dance partnership the show has seen. We're not sure which of the professionals he'll be paired with yet.

In an Instagram post where he broke the news of his Strictly debut, Whaite said: "I've been wearing sequins, wigs and jazzy clothes since I was in the womb (winner of the best dressed foetus award, 1989), but even that hasn't prepared me for the uncontrollable excitement that I'm filled with when I say: I'm part of the 2021 @bbcstrictly line-up. Oh, and I'm going to be dancing with another bloke as the first all-male pairing."

Last year, Olympic boxing champ Nicola Adams was in Strictly's first ever same-sex partnership with dance pro Ella Baig.

Rhys Stephenson, CBBC presenter

Rhys Stephenson on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)
Rhys Stephenson on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)

Actor and children's TV presenter, Rhys Stephenson, has presented some of Britain's most-loved children's shows including Blue Peter, Saturday Night Mashup! and Newsround, among others. Now, he's "BUZZING" to be trading in his microphone for some dance shoes.

"I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation," he said. "I cannot wait to experience it all: the costumes, the orchestra, even Craig's glare! I am READY!"

Sara Davies, Dragon's Den

Sara Davies on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)
Sara Davies on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)

Sara Davies was the youngest ever dragon on the panel of entrepreneurs on Dragon's Den when she joined in 2019. Her company, Crafter's Companion, which she started as a student, now employs almost 250 people worldwide and has earned her the affectionate nickname of the 'Crafting Queen'. And now she's hoping to also be the 'Dancing Queen'.

Davies is the recipient of over 30 business awards and, in 2016, she was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to the economy. But whether she'll be adding the glitterball trophy to her rapport of prestigious awards remains to be seen.

"My Mam and Dad are going to be so excited," she said. "I'm really nervous because so far the producers keep asking me if I can dance. Truth be told - I haven't got a clue! I've not danced since I did ballet lessons when I was little," she admitted.

Dan Walker, News presenter

Dan Walker on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)
Dan Walker on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)

BBC Breakfast's Dan Walker is next on the list of Strictly contestants.

Over the years, Dan has covered some of the biggest sporting events, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Breakfast show.

For 12 years, he hosted The NFL Show and Football Focus. He has covered Wimbledon, The Grand National, Royal Ascot, The Derby, the 6 Nations and the Open golf coverage for the BBC as well as hosted The One Show and Songs of Praise. In 2019 he was amongst a group of famous faces that climbed Kilimanjaro to help raise funds for Comic Relief. Dan is also a prolific writer, with his most recent book, Remarkable People, published last year.

And now, Dan is set to tick Strictly off his bucket list.

"I am definitely excited, a little bit worried, mostly terrified and a small part of me is considering going into hiding!" He joked. "My kids have only ever asked me to go on two shows... Saturday Mash Up and Strictly. I did Saturday Mash Up this summer so... it's time to embrace the sequins."

Katie McGlynn, Soap star

Katie McGlynn on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)
Katie McGlynn on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)

Hollyoaks' newest arrival and award-winning actress, Katie McGlynn, is also set to dazzle the judges this year.

"It's been so hard keeping it a secret, but I can finally say that I'm getting ready to shake my shimmy and become part of the Strictly family!" she said.

"I'm so excited to learn a new skill on this crazy journey and cannot wait to slip into some sequins along the way.

"Although I do get to have so much fun as an actress, a lot of my roles have involved quite serious and challenging storylines, so I'm fully ready to let my hair down and do something different, even if it is completely outside of my comfort zone."

The 28-year-old National Television Award-winner starred in Corrie as Sinead Tinker, who lost her battle with cervical cancer, before moving over to Hollyoaks. She's also been in Waterloo Road, The Syndicate, and Moving On.

Tilly Ramsay, TV chef and presenter

Tilly Ramsay on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)
Tilly Ramsay on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)

If starting University wasn't an adjustment enough, Gordon Ramsay's third-born is adding Strictly to the mix.

""I'm so excited and grateful to be joining the Strictly family! I'm always up for fun new challenges and this will be my biggest adventure yet!" she said.

"I'm going to put my heart and soul into this and can't wait to get my dancing shoes on and show my Dad how it's really done! Bring on the glitz, glamour and sequins!"

Chef, social media influencer and TV presenter Tilly has over 9.5 million followers on TikTok, where she regularly posts funny videos of herself and her Dad, Gordon Ramsay. She presented Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch on CBBC, which saw her cooking and having adventures along with her family, for which she received three Children's BAFTA nominations.

In 2017 she published her first cookery book, inspired by the show, titled: Matilda & The Ramsay Bunch: Tilly's Kitchen Takeover. Tilly and her Dad also hosted a regular cooking item on This Morning, Big Chef Little Chef.

Holly, 19, will be the youngest contestant on the show. Her father jokingly warned her not to date any of the dancers.

Greg Wise, actor

Greg Wise on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)
Greg Wise on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)

The Crown's Greg Wise is the next confirmed Strictly contestant.

"My beautiful sister was a huge disco queen. She left our world almost exactly 5 years ago in a glitter ball coffin. This is for her," he said.

"My gorgeous Diva sis, who would have been insane with excitement that her little bro was doing this.

"I will channel her, as her bro can't dance - but I'm thrilled to be dipping my toes, knees, hips and arms into this wonderful world, and hope to make her proud, and obviously make her laugh..." >Greg also wrote a box-office hit film Last Christmas with his wife, Emma Thompson, and the book Not That Kind of Love with his late sister Clare Wise.

Nina Wadia, TV actress

Nina Wadia on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)
Nina Wadia on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. (Credit: BBC)

Last, but not least, Eastenders star Nina Wadia joins this year's Strictly lineup.Nina Wadia OBE is known for starring in the BBC Two sketch show Goodness Gracious Me, Open All Hours spin-off Still Open All Hours, and of course, for playing Zainab Masood in EastEnders, where she won Best Onscreen Partnership and Best Comedy at the British Soap Awards.

Nina has also starred in theatre productions including the Tony award winning The Vagina Monologues, and she recently appeared in the live-action film remake of Aladdin.Nina is also a regular presenter on BBC One's Sunday Morning Live, and she received an OBE in the 2021 New Year's Honours List for her services to charity and entertainment.

So how will she do on the dance floor?

"I've always danced like nobody's watching, so if we blindfold the judges I could actually win Strictly 2021," she joked. We can't wait to see the Êastenders star strut her stuff in September.

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 presenters and judges

Tess Daley and Claudia Winkleman will return as the show's presenters, with Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse returning to the judging panel.

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Anton Du Beke will take Bruno Tonioli's place on the panel.

There are also four new professional dancers joining the rapport this season. They are: Kai Widdrington, Nikita Kuzmin, Cameron Lombard and Jowita Przystal.

Topics: Strictly Come Dancing, TV and Film

Laura Sanders
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