Who is Will Young? Strictly Come Dancing 2016 contestant guide

The 37-year-old singer is ready for Strictly - but does he have what it takes to become an idol once more?

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Strictly Come Dancing 2016 contestants: Will Young

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Age: 37

Twitter: @willyoung

Famous for: Winning Pop Idol in 2002, having four number one UK albums and selling 10 million records. Oh, and he’s also won two Brit Awards and a Laurence Olivier Award for his role in Cabaret. Phew.

Who is his professional partner?

Will was paired with Strictly veteran Karen Clifton. Before the pairing up he admitted that he’d hoped it would be Karen, who has been on the show since 2012. 

Here’s a reminder of his hit single Leave Right Now, along with the most noughties video in the world, ever:

It’s not all about the music though. 

Apart from his award-winning performance in Cabaret, Will Young’s stints as an actor have seen him appear in Skins and Agatha Christie’s Marple, to name a few.

He likes books, too. He’s published three of them, including his 2012 autobiography, Funny Peculiar.

It looks like he’ll be a good match for the Strictly judges, given his famous encounter with Simon Cowell on Pop Idol where Cowell told him his performance was “distinctly average” and Will Young responded with: “I don’t think you could ever call that average”.

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Why is Will Young doing Strictly Come Dancing?

We spoke to Will ahead of the first live show to find out…

Why are you doing Strictly? I’ve been asked before but it wasn’t the right time. This year I was the uncool person who was asked and instead of saying, “Oh, let me see if I’m free,” said, “Yes, please! And thank you!”

Any dance experience? I started studying musical theatre at ArtsEd [Arts Educational Schools], but after a term I left to be on Pop Idol. I did carry on with ballet classes for a while and I’ve danced in my West End shows.

Have you prepared? I’ve been trying to get in shape. My fitness isn’t great because I’m a smoker.

And the tight outfits and sparkles? They look great on the dancers but Karen tells me Bruno likes tight clothes. It gets you points. The tighter the clothes, the better it is for you. So we’re getting tight! 

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