Name: Ashley Taylor Dawson
Famous for: Playing Darren Osbourne on Hollyoaks
“I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be part of Strictly Come Dancing. It’s an amazing discipline to learn, the whole experience is just going to be fantastic.”
Bio: Ashley Taylor Dawson has been appearing on our screens since 1999 when he first played the part of Darren Osborne in Hollyoaks at the tender age of 17. But the pull of primetime television didn’t last long and he left the show in 2000 to pursue a career as a popstar. Sadly for Ashley, his bid for chart success with band allSTARS* didn’t last long – even a CITV show couldn’t prevent their album charting at a lowly 43.
Luckily for Ashley, he was welcomed back to Hollyoaks with open arms, rejoining the cast in August 2003. His character, Darren, has had the typical run of form we’ve come to expect from our favourite soap stars, losing his dad’s business to a gambling addiction and impregnating his former wife’s mother during his 14 years on the show. The weekly trials and tribulations of Strictly should be a walk in the park by comparison…
Ashley’s already been busy preparing for his dancing gig, trying everything from gymnastics to hot yoga in an attempt to whip his body into shape for those gruelling training sessions – but he’s keeping his fingers crossed there are no Olympians on this year’s line-up after Louis Smith’s stellar performance last year.
Watch Ashley’s character Darren interrupting former girlfriend Cindy’s wedding in the clip below: