Name: Wayne Sleep
Best known for: Principal dancer with the Royal Ballet and TV personality
Bio: Sleep was born in Plymouth in Devon and became one of the UK’s most famous dancers in his prime. He was just 13 years old when he won a scholarship to the Royal Ballet School, and five years later – in 1966 – he was invited to join the Royal Ballet Company, despite his diminutive height of five foot two.
He soon became a Senior Principal Dancer, working with talent including Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Dame Ninette de Valois, Joe Layton, Rudolf Nureyev, and John Neumeier.
Sleep formed his own dance company, Dash, in 1980 and began to present dance to a wider audience by including a variety of styles. They created many West End performances and toured the world.
— Wayne Sleep OBE (@Wayne_Sleep) July 30, 2017
Later in his career, Sleep has been asked to appear on TV as a mentor and judge for shows like ITV’s Stepping Out and Channel 4’s Big Ballet. He’s also taken part in I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, Celebrity Come Dine with Me, numerous Royal Variety performances, This is Your Life, The Goodies, Parkinson and Wogan, and The Real Marigold Hotel.
He’s had numerous acting roles on both stage and screen, broken world records (he once performed a jump with twelve beats of the feet!) – and was appointed OBE in 1998.