Strictly Come Dancing 2020: Bill Bailey is CONFIRMED as leaked line-up is revealed

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Bill Bailey has been unveiled as the seventh celeb to take part in the 2020 series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The announcement was made live on Zoe Ball’s Radio 2 Breakfast Show, with the comedian calling in and telling the It Takes Two host: ‘I haven’t been to stage school to learn to dance, I haven’t lived for the dance as some may have done, I’m not Lord of the Dance, more a sort of caretaker of the dance, so it’s going to be quite a challenge.’

With seven of the Strictly line-up already unveiled this week, the remaining list of contestants has also supposedly been leaked.

Hitting the floor: Bill Bailey has been unveiled as the seventh celeb to take part in the 2020 series of Strictly Come Dancing

Hitting the floor: Bill Bailey has been unveiled as the seventh celeb to take part in the 2020 series of Strictly Come Dancing

Comedian Bill, 55, has been rumoured for some time, with a source telling The Sun: ‘It’s a hard time for live performers so it seemed a good chance for Bill to commit to the show.’ 

Bill, however, revealed in 2018 that he has been asked to do the dancing series several times but was put off by the ‘judgemental’ nature of the show. 

Speaking to Zoe on Thursday morning he joked his famous long locks will be ‘flying free like a spaniel out of a car window.’ As for his dance background, the funnyman admitted it was ‘a little patchy.’ 

‘Off stage, comics love an adrenaline rush, new challenges. And this year when things are so surreal we’re looking to do that and learn a new skill,’ he explained, adding that his favourite dance is the hokey cokey. 

New recruit: The announcement was made live on Zoe Ball's Radio 2 Breakfast Show, with the comedian admitting: 'I'm not Lord of the Dance, more a sort of caretaker of the dance, so it's going to be quite a challenge'

New recruit: The announcement was made live on Zoe Ball’s Radio 2 Breakfast Show, with the comedian admitting: ‘I’m not Lord of the Dance, more a sort of caretaker of the dance, so it’s going to be quite a challenge’

Bill added in a statement to the BBC: ‘In these strange times we’re living through, it feels right to do something different and take on a new challenge. So I am delighted to be a part of this year’s unique Strictly Come Dancing. My late mum Madrin would have loved it – I hope she’ll be watching.’

Bill is a comedian, musician, author, documentary-maker and keen outdoors enthusiast best known for his live comedy and for the tv shows Black Books, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and QI  and his work as a touring comedian.

His live shows always feature ingenious and original musical elements drawing on Bill’s skills as a classically trained musician and multi-instrumentalist.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, DJ Clara Amfo, boxer Nicola Adams, NFL player Jason Bell, actress Caroline Quentin, news anchor Ranvir Singh and pop star Max George were announced as the first set of stars vying for the 2020 glitterball trophy.

And on Wednesday night, The Sun leaked the names of the supposed other contestants.

EastEnders wild-child Maisie Smith, ex-Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and Invictus Games star JJ Chalmers are said to be taking part, as well as Made In Chelsea star Jamie Laing who was confirmed for Strictly 2019 before having to drop out due to a foot injury.

Rounding things off is a 12th celebrity – said to be a well-known YouTube star.

Said to be a female, it’s speculated to be Zoella, whose brother Joe Sugg was a finalist in 2018 and, despite not winning, left the show with a girlfriend in the form of pro dancer Dianne Buswell.

MailOnline has approached Strictly Come Dancing for comment.

Miss Smith: Perhaps the most controversial of the alleged line-up are  Maisie Smith [pictured] and Jacqui Smith [no relation] who have both courted scandal in the past

Ms Smith: Jacqui is the ex-Home Secretary, having quit after the 2009 expenses investigation

Meet the Smiths: Perhaps the most controversial of the alleged line-up are [L-R] Maisie Smith and Jacqui Smith [no relation] who have both courted scandal in the past

Wild child: Maisie was caught smoking a hand-rolled cigarette, after pulling over on an empty road in Essex on Sunday July 19

Wild child: Maisie was caught smoking a hand-rolled cigarette, after pulling over on an empty road in Essex on Sunday July 19

Perhaps the most controversial of the alleged line-up are Maisie Smith and Jacqui Smith [no relation] who have both courted scandal in the past.

Actress Maisie, 19, hit headlines over the summer, when she was spotted smoking a ‘strong-smelling’ cigarette at the wheel of her car, consequently losing her role on EastEnders.

A furious source told The Sun of her rumoured Strictly signing: ‘It is unthinkable that Strictly would sign her after the few weeks she has had. The show is the pinnacle of the BBC and gives rising stars and established ones a huge step to more fame.

‘So it’s very weird to give someone whose future was very unclear just weeks ago such an opportunity. Perhaps they see it as a way of nailing down a rising star rather than her leaving and taking with her a young audience.’

Spare no expense: Jacqui made headlines when she was investigated by the Parliamentary Commissioner For Standards in 2009 after she was accused of inappropriately designating her sister's home in London as her main residence, allowing her to claim over £116,000 on her family's Redditch home since becoming an MP [pictured at the time]

Spare no expense: Jacqui made headlines when she was investigated by the Parliamentary Commissioner For Standards in 2009 after she was accused of inappropriately designating her sister’s home in London as her main residence, allowing her to claim over £116,000 on her family’s Redditch home since becoming an MP [pictured at the time]

Athlete: JJ Chalmers, 33, was a Royal Marine who served in Helmand, Afghanistan with 42 Commando and, in May 2011, lost two fingers and his right elbow in an IED blast

Taking on the challenge:  JJ Chalmers, 33, was a Royal Marine who served in Helmand, Afghanistan with 42 Commando and, in May 2011, lost two fingers and his right elbow in an IED blast [R]

She is reportedly still being investigated by BBC bosses – who were also left aggravated by her for allegedly signing a big money TikTok deal, despite being told not to by soap chiefs.

Maisie, who plays Tiffany Butcher in the soap, has apparently violated the terms of her EastEnders contract by inking a deal to promote musicians on the app.

Jacqui, 57, made headlines when she was investigated by the Parliamentary Commissioner For Standards for her alleged involvement in the MP’s expenses scandal of 2009.

She was accused of inappropriately designating her sister’s home in London as her main residence, allowing her to claim over £116,000 on her family’s Redditch home since becoming an MP.

She responded to this by claiming she had merely followed advice from parliamentary authorities.

Back again: Made In Chelsea's Jamie Laing was signed on for Strictly 2019, even being partnered up and appearing in the opening episode of the series

Back again: Made In Chelsea’s Jamie Laing was signed on for Strictly 2019, even being partnered up and appearing in the opening episode of the series

Gutted: He was forced, however, to withdraw from the competition after suffering a foot injury in rehearsals, leaving him unable to dance

Gutted: He was forced, however, to withdraw from the competition after suffering a foot injury in rehearsals, leaving him unable to dance

She was said to have claimed flat-screen TVs and scatter cushions in her expenses, insisting that it was the ‘nature of her job’ to furnish two homes.

One expense revealed that pornographic films had been bought and viewed in the family home, later revealed to have been ordered by Jacqui’s husband, Richard Timney, whom she separated from in 2019.

She then made headlines in May 2009 when she named 16 ‘undesirable individuals’, including convicted murderers and advocates of violence, who were to be banned from entering the UK – resulting in her being sued by American talk radio host Michael Savage, who was on the list.

She resigned as Home Secretary in June 2009 and lost her seat as MP for Redditch in 2010. 

Jamie said at the time: 'I just wanted to give a quick update because it’s been released now. Because of my injury, I won’t be competing on Strictly this year, which is incredibly devastating and really upsetting. But these things happen in life, and when they happen, you have to push forward and be positive'

Jamie said at the time: ‘I just wanted to give a quick update because it’s been released now. Because of my injury, I won’t be competing on Strictly this year, which is incredibly devastating and really upsetting. But these things happen in life, and when they happen, you have to push forward and be positive’

Winner: Soap actor Kelvin Fletcher was drafted in as his replacement - ending up winning the series with partner Oti Mabuse

Winner: Soap actor Kelvin Fletcher was drafted in as his replacement – ending up winning the series with partner Oti Mabuse

When Kelvin and Oti won, he playfully tweeted: 'Congratulations to @kelvin_fletcher and @OtiMabuse you guys rocked it!! Thank god for my broken foot #Strictlyfinal'

When Kelvin and Oti won, he playfully tweeted: ‘Congratulations to @kelvin_fletcher and @OtiMabuse you guys rocked it!! Thank god for my broken foot #Strictlyfinal’ 

JJ Chalmers, 33, was a Royal Marine who served in Helmand, Afghanistan with 42 Commando and, in May 2011, lost two fingers and his right elbow in an IED blast.

By September 2014, he took part as a non-amputee cyclist for Britain at the Invictus Games and won bronze in the 1-mile time trial and the 4 × 100m mixed relay race.

He scooped gold as captain of the trike team for the Men’s IRecB1 Recumbent Circuit Race, as part of a British trio who crossed the finishing line together.

He has since carved a media career, presenting the likes of the Paralympic Games, the Commonwealth Games and the London Marathon, as well as punditry on The One Show.

Is it you? Rounding things off is a 12th celebrity - said to be a well-known YouTube star. Said to be a female, it's speculated to be Zoella

Following in his footsteps? Her brother Joe Sugg was a finalist in 2018 and, despite not winning, left the show with a girlfriend in the form of pro dancer Dianne Buswell

Is it you? Rounding things off is a 12th celebrity – said to be a well-known YouTube star. Said to be a female, it’s speculated to be Zoella [L], whose brother Joe Sugg was a finalist in 2018 and, despite not winning, left the show with a girlfriend in the form of pro dancer Dianne Buswell [R]

Made In Chelsea’s Jamie Laing was signed on for Strictly 2019, even being partnered up and appearing in the opening episode of the series.

He was forced, however, to withdraw from the competition after suffering a foot injury in rehearsals, leaving him unable to dance.

Soap actor Kelvin Fletcher was drafted in as his replacement – ending up winning the series with partner Oti Mabuse.

Jamie said at the time: ‘I just wanted to give a quick update because it’s been released now. Because of my injury, I won’t be competing on Strictly this year, which is incredibly devastating and really upsetting. But these things happen in life, and when they happen, you have to push forward and be positive.’

Hitting the dance floor! Caroline Quentin was unveiled as the first celebrity to take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2020

Taking part: She will be joined by Max George of former boy band The Wanted

Hitting the dance floor! Caroline Quentin [L] was unveiled as the first celebrity to take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2020, joined also by Max George [R] of former boy band The Wanted

Big reveal: The third star to be named was NFL player Jason Bell - who is the ex of Girls Aloud's Nadine Coyle, with whom he shares a daughter [pictured in 2009]

Big reveal: The third star to be named was NFL player Jason Bell – who is the ex of Girls Aloud’s Nadine Coyle, with whom he shares a daughter [pictured in 2009]

When Kelvin and Oti won, he playfully tweeted: ‘Congratulations to @kelvin_fletcher and @OtiMabuse you guys rocked it!! Thank god for my broken foot #Strictlyfinal.’

Caroline Quentin, Max George and Jason Bell were unveiled as the first three celebrities to take part in this year’s series. 

The big reveal took place on Tuesday’s instalment of The One Show – following months of uncertainty amid the COVID-19 crisis as to whether Strictly will air at all this year.

Things were as cloak-and-dagger as always as the first contestants were announced, with Caroline, 60, and Jason, 42, beamed in via Skype, while Max, 31, was sent into the studio in person, sneaking in by producers through the basement to ensure secrecy.

New challenge: Jonathan Creek actress Caroline explained that she used to do ballet as a girl, as well as tap and modern dance, but is worried her knees will let her down

New challenge: Jonathan Creek actress Caroline explained that she used to do ballet as a girl, as well as tap and modern dance, but is worried her knees will let her down

Jonathan Creek actress Caroline explained that she used to do ballet as a girl, as well as tap and modern dance, but is worried her knees will let her down.

‘I’ve been keeping it very quiet and it’s really difficult as I like a chat, as you well know, and it’s been so hard to be quiet about it. I’m a bit scared, but quite excited,’ the Men Behaving Badly actress told The One Show hosts Alex Jones and Amol Rajan. 

She added: ‘I do remember some of what I learned [dancing] but my knees are 50 years older than the last time I attempted any of it, and it’s my knees and my undergarments that are troubling me most as a notion.

‘I hope my knees don’t let me down and I hope the foundation garments live up to expectations when I start leaping about!’

Ex: Jason met Nadine - who proved popular on last year's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! - in 2008 and they were engaged between 2010 and 2011 [pictured in 2008]

Ex: Jason met Nadine – who proved popular on last year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! – in 2008 and they were engaged between 2010 and 2011 [pictured in 2008] 

Caroline is perhaps best known for her role on sitcoms Men Behaving Badly – on which she played the long-suffering girlfriend of Martin Clunes – and Kiss Me Kate – starring as the titular character opposite the likes of Amanda Holden. 

American football player Jason – who shares daughter Anaíya with Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle, having been a couple for 11 years – said: ‘I am thrilled. I’m a huge fan of the show, I’ve been watching it since I came to this country, so it’s time for me to do something cool to impress my daughter, now that she can watch me perform!’

He added: ‘I’ve always, as an athlete, liked to lock into the present moment you know, be in the zone, and I think this show will give me the opportunity to do the same thing I did when I was playing – perform at a high level and learn from the best.’

 

American football player Jason said: 'I am thrilled. I’m a huge fan of the show, I’ve been watching it since I came to this country, so it’s time for me to do something cool to impress my daughter, now that she can watch me perform!'

American football player Jason said: ‘I am thrilled. I’m a huge fan of the show, I’ve been watching it since I came to this country, so it’s time for me to do something cool to impress my daughter, now that she can watch me perform!’

He added: 'I’ve always, as an athlete, liked to lock into the present moment you know, be in the zone, and I think this show will give me the opportunity to do the same thing I did when I was playing - perform at a high level and learn from the best'

He added: ‘I’ve always, as an athlete, liked to lock into the present moment you know, be in the zone, and I think this show will give me the opportunity to do the same thing I did when I was playing – perform at a high level and learn from the best’

Jason met Nadine – who proved popular on last year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! – in 2008 and they were engaged between 2010 and 2011.

They split briefly, but reconciled for several more years, welcoming their daughter in 2014. They then split for good in 2019. 

‘Although Nadine and Jason were never married, they lived as a close family unit and remain good friends as they co-parent their young daughter. They still care for one another, but are no longer in a romantic relationship,’ a source told The Sun at the time. 

Max made his entrance via a basement lift, bedecked in red streamers, and told Alex that he’d already informed his former The Wanted star Jay McGuiness, who has also taken part on the BBC dance show.

Shoes to fill: Max has informed his former The Wanted star Jay McGuiness, who has also taken part on the BBC dance show

Shoes to fill: Max has informed his former The Wanted star Jay McGuiness, who has also taken part on the BBC dance show

‘I spoke to Jay earlier, he left me a couple of voice notes,’ Max explained, as Alex asked how he thinks he’ll measure up to Jay.

‘Oh no chance, there’s no comparison, but he might be able to mentor me maybe through Zoom, he may be able to help me out. He did say he can imagine me like a little schoolboy, nervous,’ he replied.

Max rose to fame in 2009 with the group – completed by Siva Kaneswaran, Tom Parker and Nathan Sykes – known best for hit song All Time Low.

Jay, 30, took part in the BBC dance show in 2015, taking home the Glitterball Trophy with professional dancer Aliona Vilani. 

 Rounding off this year’s confirmed stars is Olympic boxer Nicola Adams – who will make history as part of the first same-sex pairing – and Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh. Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo was also confirmed on Wednesday.

Nicola said in a statement: ‘It’s amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the entertainment industry.’ 

Groundbreaking: Olympic boxer Nicola Adams has been confirmed to be taking part in the 2020 series of Strictly Come Dancing - as part of the show's first ever same-sex pairing

Groundbreaking: Olympic boxer Nicola Adams has been confirmed to be taking part in the 2020 series of Strictly Come Dancing – as part of the show’s first ever same-sex pairing

Nicola, 37, added: ‘I’m really excited to be joining this year’s incredible line-up for Strictly Come Dancing. I’m a huge fan of the show and am thrilled to be part of something that holds such a special place in so many people’s hearts.’

‘People might know me from work in the ring, but I’ll be every bit as passionate and dedicated on the dance-floor too.’

‘I also wanted to thank the BBC for supporting me and making me the first ever all female-pairing; and it’s amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the entertainment industry.’ 

Speaking live from her home on BBC Breakfast, Nicola said of her groundbreaking all-female pairing: ‘It’s really important, it’s a big step for the show as well. It’s nice to see we’ve been able to move on and I just can’t wait to get some dancing done really.’

Nicola, 37, added: 'I'm really excited to be joining this year's incredible line-up for Strictly Come Dancing. I'm a huge fan of the show and am thrilled to be part of something that holds such a special place in so many people's hearts'

Nicola, 37, added: ‘I’m really excited to be joining this year’s incredible line-up for Strictly Come Dancing. I’m a huge fan of the show and am thrilled to be part of something that holds such a special place in so many people’s hearts’ 

Revealing she approached Strictly with the idea for a same-sex pairing, Nicola explained: ‘I asked the show about it. They wanted to know if I wanted to be on the show and I said “yeah I’ll do it but I want to dance with another female dance partner.'”

‘It’s definitely a time for change and time to move on and be more diverse. This is a brilliant step in the right direction. It will be nice for the LGBT community to be able to see that there are same sex couples on the show as well.’ 

Nicola became the first female amateur boxer to win an Olympic gold medal at London 2012 and became double Olympic champion following her second gold medal win in Rio 2016 as well as being the first boxer in history to retain an Olympic title. 

Having also become World Amateur Champion in May 2016 she secured a grand slam of titles, and is the only female boxer in the history of the sport to have won every major title available to her; Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth.

In recognition of her services to boxing and unprecedented achievement, Nicola was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year’s Honours list. She was made an OBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list.  

Hitting the floor: Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh was confirmed as the fourth celebrity to star on the 2020 series of Strictly Come Dancing on Wednesday morning

Hitting the floor: Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh was confirmed as the fourth celebrity to star on the 2020 series of Strictly Come Dancing on Wednesday morning

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The line-up for Strictly Come Dancing 2020 is finally being released with Good Morning Britain’s Ranvir Singh among the famous faces swapping the desk for the dancefloor.

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Radio 1 presenter Clara Amfo, 36, was confirmed to be taking part via an announcement on Greg James’ Breakfast Show, also on Wednesday morning, while GMB confirmed Ranvir Singh was hitting the floor live on the ITV morning show. 

Ranvir is a journalist and presenter, best known as the Political Editor for ITV’s Good Morning Britain, anchor for ITV’s Tonight and newsreader on ITN. 

Piers Morgan couldn’t resist teasing Ranvir live on GMB, pointing out that their co-star Charlotte Hawkins ‘gave it the big one and we know what happened there.’

Charlotte starred on the 2017 series of Strictly but was the third celeb to be eliminated. Susanna meanwhile reached the final in 2013 and Richard was eliminated in week 7 during the 2012 run.  

Get the glitter ready! Radio and TV presnter Clara Amfo was the fifth celebrity contestant confirmed, with an announcement on Wednesday

Get the glitter ready! Radio and TV presnter Clara Amfo was the fifth celebrity contestant confirmed, with an announcement on Wednesday

‘You’re representing the show, you fail we all fail,’ Piers quipped. 

‘I’m going to need to pick your brains,’ Ranvir admitted to Susanna and Richard, pointing out she will continue her early starts at GMB during the show. ‘I’m worried about energy levels,’ she admitted.

‘I’ve been working throughout the whole pandemic, so I feel like I should have all the answers.’

When asked if she had had to isolate amid reports celebrities will have to with their pro partners before the show, Ranvir said it wasn’t possible for her. 

‘I can’t isolate, I’ve got my mum in the house, the kids. They know my situation and they’ve accepted it.’  

Piers was keen to ask her how she felt about the infamous Strictly curse, prompting Ranvir to declare ‘well I’m single!’ 

Here we go! Ranvir's co-stars Richard Arnold and Susanna Reid have previously starred on the BBC show, and have been giving her tips

Here we go! Ranvir’s co-stars Richard Arnold and Susanna Reid have previously starred on the BBC show, and have been giving her tips

Clara announced her involvement by telling Breakfast Show host Greg James: ‘You know how when we do the Live Lounge, people always say I can’t sit still? You know how at the Christmas party I’m usually the first one on the dance floor and the last one off?’

‘And you know, I love a short skirt to upset my mum so guess what I’m doing Strictly Come Dancing!’ 

The star added to the BBC: ‘As we know this year has been a real challenge and escapism through dancing is something I know we all enjoy, so to be taught by a pro and live a fantasy is something that I can’t wait to fully embrace, see you on the dancefloor!’

Busy: 'I'm going to need to pick your brains,' Ranvir admitted to Susanna and Richard, pointing out she will continue her early starts at GMB during the show. 'I'm worried about energy levels'

Busy: ‘I’m going to need to pick your brains,’ Ranvir admitted to Susanna and Richard, pointing out she will continue her early starts at GMB during the show. ‘I’m worried about energy levels’

Clara is a broadcaster best known for her 10am – 1pm show on BBC Radio 1, home of the Live Lounge.

She teased her involvement in the show in an interview with Cosmopolitan this week, telling the magazine: ‘Look, Strictly is an amazing show.’ 

‘It’s so sweet-spirited; nobody ever watches it with a bad intention and that’s what I’ve always loved about it… I went to watch it [live] last season! The magic of it is so overwhelming.’RounTalking about her future, she said: ‘I know that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. My work, where I am now, I feel ready for it. I’m aware of who I want to fight for and what I want to lend my voice to. I feel supercharged, I feel ready.’ 

Strictly Come Dancing Contestants 2020

CAROLINE QUENTIN

Age: 60

Profession: Actress, known for roles in Men Behaving Badly and Jonathan Creek

Caroline says: ‘I hope my knees don’t let me down and I hope the foundation garments live up to expectations when I start leaping about!’

Fun fact: She met her now-husband, Sam Farmer in 1998 on the set of Men Behaving Badly when he was one of the studio runners.

MAX GEORGE 

 Age: 31

Profession: Singer – from former boy band The Wanted

Max says: ‘Nan – I’m doing Strictly this year!’ as he vowed to make his superfan grandmother proud

Fun Fact: Max’s fellow The Wanted bandmate Jay McGuiness was on Strictlby Come Dancing in 2015 – and won it!  

CLARA AMFO

 Age: 36

Profession: Radio 1 presenter

Clara says: ‘As we know this year has been a real challenge and escapism through dancing is something I know we all enjoy’

Fun fact:  Clara has some experience of celeb gameshows, having taken part on Celebrity Masterchef in 2018

 

BILL BAILEY 

 Age: 55

Profession: Comedian and TV personality

Clara says: ‘I’m not Lord of the Dance, more a sort of caretaker of the dance’

Fun fact:  Bill is a classically trained musician and multi-instrumentalist

JASON BELL

Age: 42

Profession: Retired American Football player – now a pundit

 Jason says: ‘I am thrilled. I’m a huge fan of the show, I’ve been watching it since I came to this country, so it’s time for me to do something cool to impress my daughter, now that she can watch me perform!’

Fun Fact: Jason is the father of Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle’s daughter. The couple were together for 11 years, only splitting recently in 2019

 RANVIR SINGH 

 Age: 43

Profession: ITV broadcaster, Political Editor for GMB

Ranvir says:  ‘It feels like I’m on a rollercoaster… Hopefully after the first dance I will feel exhilarated rather than sick!’

Fun fact: Ranvir is the fourth GMB star to star following Susanna Reid, Richard Arnold and Charlotte Hawkins.

 

NICOLA ADAMS  

 Age: 37

Profession: Double Olympic gold medallist boxer

Nicola says: ‘I’m a huge fan of the show and am thrilled to be part of something that holds such a special place in so many people’s hearts’

Fun fact:  Nicola will form the show’s first ever same-sex pairing as she is parterned with a female professional. 

 

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