The athlete made history at this year’s Tokyo Olympics, becoming the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title after winning gold in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke at both Rio 2016 and the most recent games.
“I think this will come as a surprise to a lot of people, but I’m so excited to finally share the news that I’ll be joining Strictly this year,” he said in a statement. “I’m really looking forward to doing something totally different and challenging myself away from the pool. I’m hoping my competitive nature is going to compensate for my dancing abilities!”
BBC Radio 1 broke the news, with Newsbeat’s Steve Holden chatting to the Olympian, who’ll be swapping the pool for the dance floor later this summer.
The final three contestants to officially join the Strictly Come Dancing line-up are being announced today, with Loose Women revealing the fourteenth contestant and The Lateish Show announcing the final celebrity.
Yesterday saw EastEnders star Nina Wadia announce she’d be taking part in this year’s series on Lorraine, with the soap star telling Christine Lampard: “I like dancing like no one’s watching. So we just need to blindfold the judges and I’ll win!”
Earlier in the week, Gordon Ramsay’s daughter Tilly Ramsay told This Morning’s Eamonn and Ruth that she’d be donning her dancing shoes, joining the likes of McFly’s Tom Fletcher, comedian Robert Webb, TV presenter AJ Odudu, BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker and actor Greg Wise in the line-up.
On Wednesday, the BBC confirmed that professional dancer Nadiya Bychkova had tested positive for coronavirus, meaning that certain cast and crew members would need to isolate for 10 days – however, the broadcaster said that the series would not be delayed.