We’ve seen a few politicians swap the House of Commons for the Strictly Come Dancing dance floor over the years – Anne Widdecombe and Ed Balls spring to mind – and the final contestant to be announced for the 2020 edition is a former cabinet minister.
Smith became the twelfth celebrity to be revealed as a participant in this year’s contest, joining the likes of TV presenter Ranvir Singh, boxer Nicola Adams and BBC Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo in the Strictly Come Dancing line-up – which also includes The Wanted’s Max George, actress Caroline Quentin and comedian Bill Bailey.
Jacqui is a former Home Secretary, having served in the role in Gordon Brown’s Labour government, but does she have what it takes to go all the way in Strictly?
Here’s everything you need to know about the contestant.
Who is Jacqui Smith?
Job: Former Home Secretary
Jacqui Smith was the Labour MP for Redditch from 1997 until 2010, during which time she served in a number of cabinet posts.
Her most prominent role was as Home Secretary following Gordon Brown’s election as Labour leader, a role which she held from 1007 until 2009, while prior to this she held positions as Chief Whip, Minister for schools and Minister for Industry.
She lost her seat at the 2010 General Election to Conservative candidate Karen Lumley, and has since pursued a number of other projects.
Currently, she co-hosts a politics and current affairs podcast called For The Many on LBC, along with journalist Iain Dale, while she regularly appears as a guest on programmes such as This Week, Sky News’ Press Preview and Good Morning Britain.
What has Jacqui Smith said about Strictly?
Upon the announcement of her participation, Smith said in a statement, “I was speechless with excitement at being asked to join Strictly – and that’s very rare for me.
“Fifty years ago, I got a bronze medal for Scottish Highland Dancing and it feels about time to return to dancing. I couldn’t be in better hands with the Strictly team and I’m going to throw myself into the challenge. Watch out!”
Tweeting the news of the announcement, Smith added: “Well this is all a bit exciting!”
Strictly Come Dancing is set to return to BBC One this Autumn. You can see the full celebrity line up here. To find out what else is on in the mean time, check out our TV Guide.