When Saffron Barker was announced as the latest Strictly contestant to join the star-studded line-up, many of us over 30 were left scratching our heads and asking, “Who?”.
It turns out, we’re the ones that should be feeling foolish as Barker is a hugely popular YouTube star, having amassed an impressive four million followers on her social media accounts despite only being 19 years old.
With Saffron now swapping social media for sequins and sambas, here’s the low-down on the Strictly Come Dancing contestant…
Who is Saffron Barker?
Born in Brighton, Saffron originally started out as a singer in a girl group called Born2Blush, with the four-piece making themselves known on the YouTube scene following their cover of Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk in 2014.
But, Born2Blush was short-lived and the following year Saffron set up her own YouTube channel, with her first video documenting a family trip to Florida.
Saffron’s channel took off when she released her jokey ‘Types of Boyfriends’ video in 2016, which has since amassed over nine million views on the platform. She now uploads one video every Sunday at 5pm.
She has over two million subscribers, with her channel boasting a staggering 263,000,000 total views – something that is only set to go up now she’s entered mainstream fame.
She also has two million followers on her Instagram page, where she posts sponsored content and selfies.
Where else have we seen Saffron Barker?
Popular boyband The Vamps had Saffron join them on their UK Tour on 2018, as she helped brings fans up on stage.
She also ran the London Marathon earlier this year, having previously admitted to not being able to run before.
Documenting her journey on YouTube (where else?), Saffron raised £6000 for the Dementia Revolution charity in memory of her great grandad Ted.
She has also released several fashion ranges with Primark.
Has Saffron Barker done any reality TV before?
Strictly is Saffron’s first foray into reality TV, but she previously launched her very own YouTube edition of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here in homage to the show – and expressed her interest at heading Down Under.
“I love the show I’m A Celebrity so bad, and I want to be in it, so I thought I’d create my own,” she told Metro. “[But] I’m just the fussiest eater ever, I don’t try anything! I’m not competitive in life, but in a challenge, I’m very competitive and I wanted to win. I was going against my brother and [ate things] I never would have eaten in my life.
“That’s the hardest I pushed myself.”
Sounds like fighting talk from the Strictly star…
What has Saffron Barker said about joining Strictly Come Dancing?
“I am so excited,” she told Ashley Roberts on the Heart Radio breakfast Show. “This is such a dream for me, and I’m also very nervous, but I can’t wait for this to actually start.
“I’m most excited to find out my partner and get started. How cool is it to say you can do Latin and Ballroom dancing?”
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Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday (26th September) on BBC One