Who is Zara McDermott? Meet the Strictly Come Dancing 2023 contestant and reality TV star
McDermott shot to fame on Love Island, but will the judges fall in love with her moves on the dance floor?
Love Island star and documentarian Zara McDermott will be stepping out of her comfort zone and onto the dance floor in this year's Strictly Come Dancing.
The news that McDermott was joining the line-up was first revealed on Monday 7th August on BBC Radio 1's Going Home with Vick and Jordan.
McDermott will be hoping to impress returning judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke when she arrives in the ballroom with her partner - one of the 2023 Strictly pro dancers.
After she came in the bottom three in her first week, will she be able to impress the judges with her Quickstep to Anyone For You by George Ezra in week two?
Read on for everything you need to know about Zara McDermott.
Who is Zara McDermott?
Job: Reality star and documentary maker
Strictly partner: Graziano Di Prima
Zara McDermott was previously a government policy advisor working for the Department of Energy and Climate Change and Department of Education before she shot to fame on Love Island in 2018.
Since appearing on the reality show, she has gone on to feature on reality shows including The X Factor: Celebrity and Made in Chelsea, and to present BBC Three's Love in the Flesh, while she has also become a documentarian working with the BBC.
Her documentaries so far include Revenge Porn, Uncovering Rape Culture, Disordered Eating and Gaia: A Death on Dancing Ledge.
Alongside this, McDermott has also worked with the government and the Home Office on campaigns to end violence against women and girls, most notably fronting a campaign that changed the law for victims of digital abuse, and she is an ambassador for the Shaping Us campaign for the Centre of Early Childhood.
Zara McDermott's Strictly journey so far
Week One: Cha Cha Cha (3+6+5+5) = 19
What has Zara McDermott said about joining Strictly 2023?
McDermott said in a statement: "I am so excited to be joining the world of Strictly! I grew up watching it every year with my nan and she was the biggest Strictly fan. We would dance around the house and I have such fond memories of that time in my life.
"I even remember the first ever series, and being mesmerised by all the beautiful dresses! I can’t wait to throw myself into this experience and start training. It’s going to be incredible."
Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, McDermott described her Strictly experience as "unique and beautiful".
She said: "It has exceeded my expectations in every single way. I think it's so unique and beautiful to be able to dedicate all your time and literally all your time to learning something new. You have to just completely leave your ego at the door and just think 'I'm not afraid to look stupid for the first couple of days'.
"My body is getting to grips with this new thing. I'm not the most coordinated person in the world, and definitely not a natural dancer. So I've definitely had to put in that extra graft and that extra effort to make it start to come naturally. But it's been honestly amazing. And I've I have got the best partner."
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The documentary maker was partnered with Strictly pro Graziano Di Prima during the launch show.
When does Strictly Come Dancing 2023 air?
Strictly Come Dancing 2023 airs on BBC One and BBC iPlayer every Saturday evening, with the results show airing the following Sunday.
Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday 30th September at 6:20pm. The results show will air on Sunday 1st October on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
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