Strictly’s Angela Rippon, 78, reveals the secret to her flexibility

Strictly’s Angela Rippon, 78, reveals the secret to her flexible physique as she prepares to become the show’s oldest EVER contestant

Angela Rippon has revealed the secret to her famously flexible physique as she prepares to become Strictly Come Dancing‘s oldest ever contestant.

The broadcaster, 78, will make history when she takes to the dancefloor for the launch show on Saturday, 25 years after hosting the original Come Dancing show.

Speaking to MailOnline, Angela admitted she’s ‘nervous and apprehensive’ about taking part in Strictly, with viewers set to find out her professional partner during the launch show.

The presenter added that she’s due to the physical demands of her work she’s ‘kept fit all her life.’

Angela told MailOnline: ‘I’ve kept fit all my life, for the job that I do. You have to keep fit to do what we do because you never know what you’ll be asked to do next. A lot of things that I’ve done in television have been more physical.

‘You know, maybe you thought twice about diving with great white sharks or swimming with killer whales, so you never know what you’re gonna be asked to do.

‘I’ve done programmes where I’ve been on my feet for 12 hours. And you can’t do that unless you’re fit. I just kept fit and strong I suppose.’

Angela’s Strictly stint will come 47 years after she stunned the 27 million viewers of Morecambe and Wise’s 1976 Christmas special by emerging from her newsreader’s desk to perform a high-kicking dance routine, in an era when journalists never ventured into light entertainment.

The news presenter will take to the Strictly dancefloor in a group routine on Saturday when viewers will also learn the stars’ professional partners.

Hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke will once again be returning to the panel.

The couples will then perform their debut dances on the first live show on September 23.

It comes after Angela predicted she won’t win the 2023 series of Strictly Come Dancing as she revealed her personal goal for the competition.

Stunning: The broadcaster will make history when she takes to the dancefloor, 25 years after hosting the original Come Dancing show

Back soon: Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday, September 16 at 6:35pm on BBC One and iPlayer

Speaking on The One Show, she said: ‘I have to admit, the first words out of my mouth when I was asked were: ‘Well why didn’t they ask me ten years ago when I was a little bit younger!’ Why? well, I love dance. I presented Come Dancing.

‘The serious reason behind doing it is because I’ve been advocating, ever since I did a series called How to Stay Young, where we demonstrated as part of the programme that dance is the complete full body and mind exercise for everybody regardless of your age but particularly for people as they get older.

‘Now as I’m 78, I’ll be 79 when we’re actually doing the programme, it would be lovely to demonstrate.’

She continued: ‘I know I’m not going to lift that Glitterball, I’m being honest with myself, it would be wonderful if I could last long enough, a few weeks, and demonstrate that even at my age that it genuinely is possible for people who are older to be able to dance.’ 

Angela also revealed that her decision to take part in Strictly as she approaches the age of 79 was a ‘scary one’ as she prepares to perform the Argentine Tango as the show’s oldest ever contestant.

Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday, September 16 at 6:35pm on BBC One and iPlayer. 


Angela Rippon

Age: 78 

Profession: Journalist 

Angela says: ‘Having been a fan of Strictly since day one, and as a former presenter of Come Dancing, this will be quite an adventure for me. A scary one, considering I’m about to be 79. But I’m looking forward to the challenge, and perhaps being able to learn to dance the Argentine Tango.’

Amanda Abbington

Age: 49

Profession: Actress

Amanda says: ‘I’m thrilled to have been asked to do Strictly. I’m actually really shy and self-conscious so this will be a great opportunity for me to overcome those things.’

Layton Williams

Age: 28

Profession: Actor

Layton says: ‘Absolutely buzzing to confirm that I will be taking part in THE most iconic dance competition in the UK! It’s time to bring it to the Ballroom. So excited to learn new skills from the best. Bring on the sequins… ALL the sequins!’

 Krishnan Guru-Murthy

Age: 53

Profession: Journalist

Krishnan says: ‘I’m surprised, delighted and slightly confused to find myself taking part in Strictly on the basis of ‘You only live once!’ I can’t wait to start learning to dance, but I am slightly worried about my general decrepitude.’

Eddie Kadi

Age: 40

Profession: Comedian and radio presenter

Eddie says: ‘WOW. Anyone who knows me, understands that music and dance is so important and central to who I am. I’m so unbelievably proud and honoured that Strictly and the BBC have asked me to join the 2023 Team. I promise you, I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. This is going to be a VIBE.

Angela Scanlon

Age: 39

Profession: TV presenter

Angela says: ‘I’m not particularly fit, I’ve no idea how my pelvic floor is going to react to this dancing. I’ve never done any dances apart from drunken jiving at a wedding!’ 

Zara McDermott 

Age: 26

Profession: Documentary maker and former Love Island star

Zara says: ‘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.’

Adam Thomas 

Age: 34 

Profession: Actor and presenter

Adam says: ‘I can’t dance to save my life but I’m buzzing to learn and have a good laugh with my pro. Get me on that dance floor…I can’t wait!’

Nikita Kanda 

Age: 27

 Profession: Radio and TV presenter

Nikita says: ‘I can’t believe I’m going to be on Strictly. This is a dream come true. I’m still pinching myself. I don’t think it will properly sink in until I step onto the dancefloor. I can’t wait to get glammed up and get out there. Throw the glitter on me!’

Ellie Leach 

Age: 22

Profession:  Coronation Street star

Ellie says: ‘It still doesn’t feel real that I’m going to be doing Strictly!! It’s always been a dream of mine so I guess dreams really do come true!!!!’

Jody Cundy 

Age: 44

Profession:  Paralympic champion 

Jody says: ‘I’m looking forward to the challenge and pushing myself way out of my comfort zone, especially as I’m always last onto the dance floor. Can’t wait to get stuck in, bring on the glitter and sequins.’

Bobby Brazier 

Age: 20

Profession:  EastEnders star and model 

Bobby says: ‘I’m so excited to be part of the Strictly line up, I can’t wait to start training like a professional dancer and adding a few moves to my locker. I’m looking forward to performing in-front of everyone.’

Nigel Harman 

Age: 49 

Profession:  Actor

Nigel says: ‘I’m amazed, excited, and terrified to be doing Strictly. As an armchair fan of the show I have watched in awe as people have twirled and gyrated across the screen. And now it’s my turn…..gulp!’

Annabel Croft 

Age: 57 

Profession:  Broadcaster and ex tennis player

Annabel says: ‘I have always loved watching Strictly and can’t quite believe I’m going to be part of this magical show – swapping tennis balls for glitter balls and looking forward to finding some joyfulness in the process.’

Les Dennis 

Age: 69

Profession: Actor and game show host

Les says:  ‘I’m thrilled to be doing this iconic wonderful show as I approach my 70th birthday! In my career I’ve always gone for challenges outside my comfort zone and this is the ultimate one! Can’t wait.’


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