James Cracknell revealed as 14th star to join Strictly Come Dancing 2019 line-up

The Olympic gold winner will swap rowing for the rumba later this year...

James Cracknell (Getty)

James Cracknell revealed his family are “embarrassed” for him after he was confirmed as the 14th celebrity to join this year’s Strictly Come Dancing line-up.

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The Olympic gold winner, 47, who earlier this year became the oldest competitor and winner for Cambridge during the Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race, was unveiled by Gemma Collins on Good Morning Britain.

Speaking to Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway about his dance skills, he said: “I single-mindedly lean on a bar and then at a certain point in the night I think I’m good at dancing.

“I know what I’m in for and I’ve had some mates that have done it. It’s going to be interesting having no confidence in it,” before adding that his family was “embarrassed” for him.

“They have a similar feeling in that they are embarrassed for me. Bev [Beverley Turner, his estranged wife] was supportive and the kids went: ‘No!’ They said I’ve got to get some dad dancing in the routine.”

He continued: “The biggest challenge for me is to give myself permission to look stupid and fail and let myself off the leash, with other stuff I quite like to be in control.”

Cracknell previously opened up to Radio Times about the struggles he overcame to compete in the Boat Race this year, over a decade after he gave up rowing professionally.

He joins footballer David James, Radio 1 DJ Dev Griffin, football pundit Alex Scott, comedian Chris Ramsey, EastEnders actress Emma Barton, social media star Saffron Barker, actress Catherine Tyldesley, BBC Breakfast’s Mike Bushell, CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual, Viscountess Emma Weymouth, RuPaul Drag Race’s Michelle Visage, Paralympian Will Bayley and Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing, BBC Radio 1 host Dev Griffin for this year’s show.

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Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC 1 later this year