Strictly Young Dancing: new celebrity line-up is most youthful for seven years

The new group of stars is the youngest since 2009 and features the first teenage contestant since 2006

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Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC1 later this month with its most youthful celebrity line-up in seven years.

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With an average age of just over 37, the group of contestants is the youngest since 2009 (when it was a mere fraction lower) and the first to include a teenage competitor since actress Louisa Lytton reached the quarter-final in 2006 aged 17.

The last series of Strictly had an average contestant age of almost 40 and featured no-one below the age of 24, but this time 18-year-old Olympic gymnast Claudia Fragapane helps to bring down the number, alongside several twentysomething stars.

Model Daisy Lowe is 27, former Hollyoaks actor Danny Mac is 28 and Olympic long-jumper Greg Rutherford and sports presenter Ore Oduba are both 29. Meanwhile, former model Laura Whitmore, now a host on the I’m a Celebrity spin-off show, is just 31.

Birds of a Feather actress Lesley Joseph is the veteran star in this year’s line-up, but still not as old as Paul Daniels, 72, or Johnny Ball, 74, when they competed.

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The new contestants were unveiled alongside their professional dance partners at the weekend. Strictly Come Dancing returns for the series proper later this month.

Strictly Come Dancing 2016: meet the contestants

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Anastacia

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Ed
Balls

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Tameka
Empson

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Claudia
Fragapane

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Lesley
Joseph

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Daisy
Lowe

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Danny
Mac

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Naga
Munchetty

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Melvin
Odoom

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Ore
Oduba

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Louise
Redknapp

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Judge Robert
Rinder

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Greg
Rutherford

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Laura
Whitmore

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Will
Young