Meet Bill Bailey – Strictly Come Dancing contestant and stand-up comedian

Everything you need to know about the star of Channel 4's Black Books who'll be joining the Strictly line-up this year.

Bill Bailey

With Strictly Come Dancing 2020 hitting our screens very soon, fans have been inundated with line-up news over the past few days, announcing which famous faces are competing for the Glitterball trophy this year.


While the likes of actress Caroline Quentin, Good Morning Britain host Ranvir Singh, pop star Max George, Olympic boxer Nicola Adams and BBC Radio 1’s Clara Amfo have been announced so far, the latest celeb to be revealed as a ballroom contender is comedian and actor Bill Bailey.

The British comic, who’s best known for his role in British sitcom Black Books and his musical stand-up, is swapping comedy for the quickstep this year, but will his melodic abilities lend him enough rhythm to make it to the final?

Here’s everything you need to know about Bill Bailey, who is part of the Strictly Come Dancing line-up.

Who is Bill Bailey?

Age: 55

Instagram: @the_bill_bailey

Twitter: @BillBailey

Job: Stand-up comedian and actor

Bailey began his comedy career in the 80’s, performing stand-up on the circuit and various comedy shows before landing his own TV series on the BBC in 1998 – Is It Bill Bailey?

From then on, he began appearing on various panel shows, such as Room 101, Have I Got News for You and Des O’Connor Tonight before acting in Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes’ off-beat comedy Spaced.

In 2000, he starred in Channel 4 sitcom Black Books as Manny Bianco alongside Dylan Moran and Tamsin Grieg, and two years later, became a team captain on musical quiz show Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

He has since taken acting roles in Hot Fuzz, Skins, Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, Chalet Girl, Doctor Who and currently stars in In the Long Run opposite Idris Elba.

In addition to his acting career, Bailey is a skilled pianist and guitarist, regularly incorporating both instruments and his musical abilities into his stand-up routines.

He shares a son with his wife Kristin, who he married in 1998 and lives in London with.

What has Bill Bailey said about Strictly?

Bailey hasn’t announced the news himself on social media just yet, but said in a statement: “In these strange times we’re living through, it feels right to do something different and take on a new challenge.”


“So I am delighted to be a part of this year’s unique Strictly Come Dancing. My late mum Madrin would have loved it – I hope she’ll be watching,” he added.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later this year. You can find the full Strictly Come Dancing line-up here. If you’re looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide.