The Strictly Come Dancing line-up rumours are already in full swing, with plenty of actors, presenters and TV stars in the mix for 2018.
But who will be pulling on the sequins and polishing up their salsa? Although no names have yet been confirmed, what we do know is that there has been a change in Strictly’s backstage line-up this year.
Since 2013 Vinnie Shergill had been the talent executive for the show, signing up all of the Strictly celebrities. However, this year the job of curating Strictly’s line-up now falls to Stefania Aleksander, who has previously worked as a booker securing celebs for I’m a Celebrity, The Jump, Five Star Hotel and The Real Marigold Hotel, amongst other shows.
So who will be on that final confirmed list come the autumn? Ahead of series 16, we round up all of the whispers and gossip…
Speaking to Ben Shepherd, he was asked if he’d got the Strictly bug from taking part in the Sport Relief episode. “I think I have,” Chris said. “Sky have given me time off and I’m going to do the show.” When Ben clarified: “What, you’re actually going to be on Strictly?” Chris responded: “Yes, I think I am.”
Although we should caveat this by saying Chris made these comments on April 1st – aka April Fools’ Day…
Iconic 80s TV star Anneka Rice is reportedly being lined up to take part in Strictly Come Dancing this year, according to The Sun.
Allegedly, Anneka was allegedly “in talks” with Strictly producers a few months ago. But will she be on the line-up when it’s confirmed this autumn?
We recently asked Casualty star Chelsea Halfpenny whether there was any truth to the rumours that she was going to be on Strictly Come Dancing this year.
“I know, I read that!” Chelsea said of the reports. “I mean, I always say ‘never say never’ but I just have to mention that I am not as light on my feet as my auntie – I don’t think I would have the success that she had!”
Chelsea’s aunt is Jill Halfpenny – the soap and drama star who went on to win Strictly’s second series back in 2004. “She is definitely the dancer in the family,” adds Chelsea.
The 23-year-old television and radio presenter is exactly the sort of rising star Strictly Come Dancing would love to sign up. Her long-term boyfriend is none other than Stormzy (how amazing would it be to see him in the Strictly audience? It’d be even better than that time he popped up on Love Island) and Maya is already part of the BBC family. She hosts on Radio 1, as well as presenting ITV’s Cannonball.
Like Daisy Lowe and Mollie King before her, Maya would bring some much-needed cool credentials to the line-up.
Former Love Island star Montana Brown has thrown her hat into the Strictly ring. Asked in a Superdrug magazine interview about starring in more reality shows, she said: “The only other one I’d do is Strictly, as I’m a terrible dancer and I’d love to learn properly.”
After the odds for House of Commons Speaker John Bercow having to step down from his position were slashed, so were his odds of taking part in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.
Bookies are currently offering 16/1 for John to be part of the line-up for series 16 of the BBC1 entertainment show. His wife Sally Bercow has already taken part in reality TV after being on Celebrity Big Brother back in 2011.
Double Winter Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold is reportedly being lined up to take part on the show this year.
According to the Daily Mail, a source said: “She has always admired the show but has never had a chance to consider it because of training. She has just made history in becoming the first Briton to win back-to-back Winter Olympic golds. She likes making history and being the first Winter Olympian on Strictly would be another great accolade.
“She has met the show’s bosses and looks to be lined up. She is a secret boogier and would love to learn to dance.”
Watch this space!
Strictly Come Dancing certainly have a penchant for BBC Breakfast presenters. Susanna Reid, Carol Kirkwood, Naga Munchetty and Bill Turnbull have all taken part in the show over the years, and business reporter Steph McGovern’s stock is certainly rising as she now also hosts Watchdog and Shop Well for Less.
During the last series of Strictly, Steph was also spotted in the live audience of the show so she’s clearly a fan.
Wayne’s wife Coleen has already been heavily rumoured by the tabloid press this year. It was reported in April that she was initially in the mix for last year’s show, but was replaced by Holby City actress Chizzy Akudolu after finding out she was pregnant with her fourth son. A source told The Mirror: “This would be one of Strictly’s biggest signings ever. And it would be a ratings sensation.”
She previously said: “I’d do it like a shot. It’s all incredibly secret. The first time, I met a producer who quizzed me about my dance prowess, which is zero. I failed Grade One ballet, which I don’t think anyone else ever has. The second time my agent was simply told I was shortlisted. So excited each time. But then… no. Devastating.”
In a more recent chat with Radio Times, we asked Alice if she had heard anything this year and whether it was going to be third time lucky. “Oh my God, I don’t know,” she said. “I haven’t heard anything. I’ll keep my fingers crossed!”
Could The Hamster be swapping four wheels for a Foxtrot? The former Top Gear presenter and current Grand Tour host would certainly be a coup signing for the Beeb, and Richard was even spotted in the Strictly audience during last year’s show. If Clarkson can host Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Hammond can definitely do lycra.
Heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill is no stranger to being asked to do Strictly Come Dancing. Back in 2016, the decorated Olympic champion said she had previously “been asked to do it a few times”.
“I love watching it, I really love the programme, but I’m not sure,” she said. “I would be terrible. I’m not ready for Strictly. I’ll stick to my cycle and a bit of running here and there, I think.”
Saying she’s “not ready” sounds to us like more of a case of when not if…
Former X Factor contestant Diana Vickers certainly fits the mould of being a Strictly Come Dancing contestant. With Alexandra Burke and Aston Merrygold both taking part in series 15 of Strictly last year, the show bosses clearly aren’t averse to X Factor alumni.
But the key reason why we could be seeing Diana on the dance floor? Prior to signing up to Strictly, Alexandra had worked with Craig Revel Horwood in the stage version of Sister Act.
And who was the choreographer on Diana’s recent theatre production of Son of a Preacher Man? Why, Craig Revel Horwood of course!
Speaking about bowing out of the show after seven years, she said, “It feels like I’ve got fire in my belly and I’m ready to see what the world has to offer.”
Both Georgia May Foote and Natalie Gumede took part in Strictly shortly after leaving the show. Will Catherine be the next to follow in their sparkly footsteps?
This isn’t the most enthusiastic response to the question we’ve ever heard, but when Les Dennis was quizzed on Sunday Brunch about whether he’d be up for doing Strictly, he replied, “When I was doing Coronation Street I was approached but we weren’t allowed to do it, we had a policy. I wouldn’t mind doing it, I always like a challenge.”
Much like hooking in a BBC Breakfast presenter nearly every year, it’s become something of a rite of passage to have one of the cast of EastEnders crossing the road from the soap’s Elstree studio to Strictly.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com while he was doing Strictly last year, Davood Ghadmi, who plays Bonnie Langford’s on-screen son, said of her potentially doing the show: “I think it’d be wonderful – she’d be brilliant. She’s not got experience of ballroom so much, but she loves dance and she’s so capable and she’s taught me a few stretches.
“But she’s just a great personality as well and I think the public would love her. She knows her onions when it comes to the dances as well and she knows how to perform. She’s a great entertainer.”
After the incredible success of 59-year-old Debbie McGee on the show last year, could 53-year-old Bonnie be about to do the same?
The Coach Trip star seemed to drop a big hint back in March when he addressed @BBCStrictly directly on Twitter saying he was ‘Glitterball ready’.
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