Strictly Ball-room: Zoë is the new It Takes Two host

The former Strictly contestant has waltzed off with the role despite high-profile competition

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BBC Radio 2 DJ Zoë Ball is to replace Claudia Winkleman as the presenter of Strictly Come Dancing – It Takes Two, BBC2’s weeknightly companion show to Strictly.

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Ball, 40, will host the show as Winkleman, currently expecting her third child, takes time out with the new arrival.

“I am quite literally beyond elated. There has been quite a hullabaloo at home with the news,” said Ball, who is married to Norman Cook, aka DJ Fatboy Slim.

“I’m giddy with glee and I may even have slipped into a celebratory cha-cha-cha, although technically not a very good one.”

Ball is no stranger to dance talent shows. She’s a former contestant on Strictly itself – having placed third with partner Ian Waite in 2005 – and hosted BBC3’s coverage of amateur dance competition Strictly Dance Fever, as well as ITV series Soap Superstar and Grease Is the Word.

“Having been a contestant myself and hosted the Strictly Come Dancing tour, it would be fair to say I’m obsessed,” she said.

“I love everything Strictly – from watching the partnerships blossom and bloom to the tricky footwork, the frocks, the shock exits and, of course, the judges.”

Ball landed the role despite competition from another Strictly alumnus, series one winner Natasha Kaplinsky, with Denise Van Outen, Lisa Snowdon, Liza Tarbuck and Jodie Prenger also believed to have screen-tested for the role.

It Takes Two producer Moira Ross said: “With Zoë’s first-hand experience of the series, she’s the perfect person to give viewers all the insider knowledge, gossip and news from this year’s show.”

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Claudia Winkleman will continue to co-present the Strictly Come Dancing Sunday-night results show alongside Tess Daly.