Made in Chelsea star added to Strictly line-up
Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing is the latest celebrity to be named as a contestant for Strictly Come Dancing.
Laing told ITV’s Loose Women: “I think I’ve got a little bit of rhythm. Maybe, we’re going to find out.”
He becomes the 11th star to be announced for this year’s series, which will also feature actors, comics, sportspeople and YouTubers.
The search for the 17th Strictly winner will begin with a launch show on BBC One in September.
Reality TV star Laing, who was persuaded to demonstrate his credentials by performing “the worm” in front of the Loose Women panel said he’d known for a month about his participation but had to keep it a secret, even from his own mum.
“At last she’ll be proud of me!” he joked.
Earlier on Monday, Seduction singer Michelle Visage – best known for her role as a judge on the US reality TV show RuPaul’s Drag race – was revealed as a contestant.
“Who’s ready for our next RuVeal?” tweeted the official Strictly account.
“She’s here to to slay the ballroom…”
A 10th contestant was revealed shortly afterwards in the form of world table tennis Paralympic champion Will Bayley.
Bayley, who is ranked world number one, took gold for Team GB at the 2016 Summer Paralympics Games in Brazil.
“I’m so proud to be on the show, it’s my family’s favourite show,” he said.
“I have no dance experience at all, but I hope I can do well. I want to inspire people with a disability – that would mean a lot to me. I want to prove to people I can do this.”
Laing, Bayley and Visage come hot on the heels of Emma Thynn, Viscountess Weymouth, who was announced on Sunday.
The 33-year-old chef and model is a contributing editor for British Vogue and also runs Longleat safari park with her family.
Viscountess Weymouth – who married Ceawlin Thynn, Viscount Weymouth, in 2013 – was unveiled as a Strictly contestant on BBC Radio London.
The mother of two told host Gaby Roslin: “It’s so, so exciting, it’s such an institution.”
She added that she had never danced professionally but that she was sure it would be “such an amazing experience from start to finish”.
CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual has also been confirmed for the dancefloor.
The former child actor who starred in CBBC’s The Sparticle Mystery said he was “pinching” himself after being offered the chance to take part in the programme
He said: “I want the lot. The skimpiest of clothes, the widest of flares, the brightest of colours and the tallest Cuban heels a guy can find! The more flamboyant the better… sequins galore please!”
BBC sports news presenter Mike Bushell said being revealed as a Strictly contestant felt “like a weird dream” but he wanted to fly the flag for “all the dad dancers”.
The 53-year-old added he “thought they’d got the wrong person,” when he got the call from the producers, as people frequently confuse him with former BBC colleague and 2009 Strictly winner, Chris Hollins.
Former Coronation Street actress Catherine Tyldesley is also dusting off her dancing shoes.
Tyldesley, 35, played Rovers Return barmaid Eva Price on the ITV Soap from 2011-2018 and told This Morning on Thursday she was “so excited” and equally “terrified” because she “literally can’t dance”.
She said: “I love to dance on a night out if I’ve had a couple of drinks and me and Alfie [her son] silly dance in the kitchen but that’s it, I’m terrified.”
Teenage social media star Saffron Barker – whose book Saffron Barker Vs Real Life topped the Sunday Times bestseller list – said she was “very grateful for the opportunity”, after she was announced as the fourth contestant.
Speaking to former Pussycat Doll and 2018 finalist Ashley Roberts on Heart Radio, Barker said: “I’m actually most excited to find out my partner, although I know I’ve still got to wait another month to find out.”
She added that she was inspired by the success of another of last year’s finalists, fellow YouTuber Joe Sugg. “I’m excited to follow in his footsteps,” she declared. “He did absolutely amazing… I’ve got a lot to live up to.”
EastEnders actress Emma Barton, who plays Honey Mitchell, was one of the first names to be announced in a reveal on The One Show featuring last year’s winner Stacey Dooley.
Barton said she was a big fan of Strictly and was therefore “over the moon” to be asked to appear in series 17.
Former England goalkeeper David James said he was persuaded to compete by ex-contestant and former swimmer Mark Foster, who had an “amazing experience” on the dancefloor.
James, 49, who was the oldest player at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, said he was “really excited” to be chosen and had “some big shoes to fill” following previous appearances by sports stars.
Comedian Chris Ramsey, who starred as Jack Pearson in the BBC Two sitcom Hebburn, said he was “really buzzing” but noted that while he is hungry for success, he has never been a natural shoe shuffler.
“You will not find me on the dancefloor at parties,” said the 32-year-old. “You will find me at the buffet table… All night.
“At my wedding, I danced with my wife; that one song took about six months’ practice, and I definitely stood on her feet a couple of times.”
This year’s series will see the return of judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli, but Dame Darcey Bussell will be replaced by Motsi Mabuse – sister of Strictly professional Oti.
Latin dancer Nancy Xu will replace the outgoing Pasha Kovalev as a professional dancer. Xu, a dancer on the West End show Burn The Floor, has been a finalist on the series So You Think You Can Dance? in China.
More celebrity dancers are still to be announced.