All the celebrity contestants announced so far


Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood The Strictly Come Dancing 2020 judges (BBC)

The celebrity contestants for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing 2021 are slowly being announced by the BBC ahead of the show’s launch later this year.

Bosses have promised fans a full-length series this year but said the show will not be able to return to Blackpool due to the pandemic.

Here is a rundown of who will be putting their best foot forward on the dancefloor:

Celebrities confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing so far

Katie McGlynn

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 03:  Katie McGlynn attends The British Soap Awards at The Lowry Theatre on June 3, 2017 in Manchester, England. The Soap Awards will be aired on June 6 on ITV at 8pm.  (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Katie McGlynn attends The British Soap Awards, 2017 (Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Katie is an actor best known for her role as Sinead Tinker in Coronation Street, for which she was BAFTA nominated and won a National Television Award for Best Serial Drama Performance in 2020. Katie was a regular in Waterloo Road, appeared in BBC One dramas The Syndicate and Moving On and currently stars in Hollyoaks as mysterious newcomer Becky Quentin.

Katie McGlynn said: “It’s been so hard keeping it a secret, but I can finally say that I’m getting ready to shake my shimmy and become part of the Strictly family! I’m really not a dancer, but I’m so excited to learn a new skill on this crazy journey and cannot wait to slip into some sequins along the way. 

Although I do get to have so much fun as an actress, a lot of my roles have involved quite serious and challenging storylines, so I’m fully ready to let my hair down and do something different, even if it is completely outside of my comfort zone. I can’t promise that I’ll be the best, but I’m going to give it 110{8a924211cc822977802140fcd9ee67aa8e3c0868cac8d22acbf0be98ed6534bd} on the dance floor! As long as I don’t fall over I’ll be happy.”

Sara Davies MBE

Sara Davies MBE - Sara is an entrepreneur and television personality (BBC)

Sara Davies MBE – Sara is an entrepreneur and television personality (BBC)

Sara was the youngest ever dragon on the panel of entrepreneurs on Dragons’ Den, when she joined in 2019. A businesswoman, her company Crafter’s Companion, which she started as a student, now employs almost 250 people worldwide and has earned her the affectionate nickname of the Crafting Queen. 

She is the recipient of over 30 business awards and, in 2016, she was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to the economy.

Sara Davies said: “My Mam and Dad are going to be so excited. I’m really nervous because so far the producers keep asking me if I can dance. Truth be told – I haven’t got a clue! I’ve not danced since I did ballet lessons when I was little. 

“The business world has taught me that tenacity, drive and determination deliver results, I hope that I can bring that to the dancefloor. And I’m excited to see the impact of all those hours of training on my mum tum!”

Rhys Stephenson

Strictly Come Dancing -  Rhys Stephenson (BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing – Rhys Stephenson (BBC)

Rhys Stephenson is the fifth celebrity contestant confirmed for the brand new series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Actor and children’s TV presenter Rhys is best known as the face of children’s television channel CBBC, which he hosts live from CBBC studio HQ. He has also presented some of the biggest shows across the CBBC slate, including Blue Peter and Saturday Mash-Up!, and appeared on The Dengineers and Newsround. Outside of presenting, Rhys is an ambassador for Place2Be, a charity which provides mental health services in schools.

Rhys said: “I am BUZZING to be a part of Strictly Come Dancing 2021. I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation. I cannot wait to experience it all: the costumes, the orchestra, even Craig’s glare! I am READY!”

John Whaite

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: n/a - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Celebrity Announcements (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  John Whaite - (C) BBC - Photographer: BBC

Strictly Come Dancing John Whaite (BBC)

Former Bake Off winner John Whaite will take to the Strictly Come Dancing dance floor as one half of the first all-male partnership on the series, it has been announced.

The chef, 33, is the fourth contestant to be confirmed for the upcoming BBC One show.

He follows in the footsteps of boxer Nicola Adams who last year was one half of the first female same-sex dance pairing, alongside professional Katya Jones.

Whaite said: “I’m so grateful, excited, and nervous to be joining the Strictly 2021 family. I’ve been wearing sequins and jazzy attire since I was three years old and can’t wait to hurl myself, full throttle, around the most glamorous dance floor on earth.

“What’s more exciting for me, is that I’m going to be one half of the first all-male partnership, which is a great step forward in representation and inclusion. Whoever it is I’m paired with, I hope they are up for a challenge as I want our routines to include lots of spectacular lifts!”

He won the third series of The Great British Bake off in 2012 and currently presents a weekly cooking segment on the Channel 4 show Steph’s Packed Lunch.

Tom Fletcher

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: n/a - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Celebrity Announcements (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Tom Fletcher - (C) BBC - Photographer: BBC

Strictly Come Dancing – Tom Fletcher (BBC)

Fletcher is the lead vocalist and guitarist of pop band McFly, who have produced six albums and seven number-one singles.

The 36-year-old is the main writer on many of the boy band’s hits and is also credited with penning songs for One Direction and Busted.

He married longtime girlfriend Giovanna in 2012 and his wedding speech, which riffed on some of McFly’s greatest hits, later went viral after he uploaded it to his YouTube channel.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20: Tom Fletcher of McFly performs live on stage at The O2 Arena on November 20, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)

Tom Fletcher of McFly performs live on stage at The O2 Arena on November 20, 2019 (Simone Joyner/Getty Images)

Tom Fletcher said: “I think the fact that I’m actually going to be dancing on Strictly this year has only just started to sink in while I’m writing this! I’m incredibly excited, of course, but also totally terrified! My kids were excited too until I started showing them my best dad-dancing in the kitchen. I’m not sure how far they’ll get me in the competition but I can’t wait to add some new moves to my embarrassing dad-dancing repertoire.”

The couple have continued to document their lives together, including three creative baby announcement videos which delighted fans.

Giovanna, who is a bestselling author, also won the 20th series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2020.

Robert Webb

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: n/a - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Celebrity Announcements (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Robert Webb - (C) BBC - Photographer: BBC

Strictly Come Dancing – Robert Webb (BBC)

The actor and comedian is best known for appearing alongside David Mitchell in Channel 4 comedy Peep Show, where he plays unemployed musician Jez, or in sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Look.

The 48-year-old has also regularly appeared on comedy panels for Have I Got News For You, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, QI and Mastermind.

Webb read English at Robinson College, Cambridge and joined the university’s theatre club Footlights, where he met Mitchell.

In 2020, he had major heart surgery after a routine medical check during filming for the second series of his sitcom Back revealed he had a heart murmur caused by a mitral valve prolapse. Webb has also produced a memoir, How Not To Be A Boy, based on his life growing up in Lincolnshire, and in 2020 he published his first novel, Come Again, and Olivia Colman narrated the audiobook version.

Robert Webb and David Mitchell were the stars of Channel 4's delightfully awkward sitcom 'Peep Show'. (Credit: Channel 4)

Robert Webb and David Mitchell were the stars of Channel 4’s delightfully awkward sitcom ‘Peep Show’. (Credit: Channel 4)

Robert said: “I am ludicrously excited to be taking part in Strictly this year. It’s a big, generous, joyful show and I can’t wait to get packed into a spandex onesie and fired from a glitter cannon directly at Claudia Winkleman. At least I think that’s what happens. 

“My goal is to try and survive from week to week without causing serious injury to myself or innocent bystanders. I know it’s going to be a challenge. To do well in this competition is a test of character, although mainly it’s a test of dancing.”

AJ Odudu

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: n/a - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Celebrity Announcements (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  AJ Odudu - (C) BBC - Photographer: BBC

Strictly Come Dancing – AJ Odudu (BBC)

Odudu began her career as a reporter for BBC Blast on Radio Lancashire and went on to co-host the spin-off Big Brother’s Bit On The Side with Emma Willis and Rylan Clark-Neal and produce the documentary Manhunting With My Mum in Nigeria.

The 33-year-old has also done backstage reporting for The Voice UK and The Voice Kids UK.

AJ Odudu said: “I am beyond chuffed that I am going to be on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing and I’m so glad I can finally tell my mum. Her face will be a picture, she’s going to be over the moon! I absolutely love the show and am fully committed to making the most of every second of the Strictly experience. Bring it on!”

EDITORIAL USE ONLY DJ AJ Odudu performs during the Seven Dials Christmas lights switch on, in partnership with housing and homelessness charity Shelter, London.

DJ AJ Odudu performs during the Seven Dials Christmas lights switch on (PA)

She is also a qualified personal trainer and sports nutritionist and was appointed as a contributing editor to Grazia magazine in 2021.

Recently she appeared in ITV series Cooking With The Stars and is hosting ITV’s new gameshow Apocalypse Wow which sees celebrities compete in a series of physical challenges in a bid to win money for charity.

She will join Bafta-winning comedian Mo Gilligan to host a one-off special of morning show The Big Breakfast for Channel 4’s Black To Front day in September, a project which celebrates black talent in the TV industry.

Watch: Bruno Tonioli discusses Strictly return



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