The sequins are sure to sparkle and the feathers will fly as our favourite reality show, Strictly Come Dancing, returns for yet another turn around the dance floor tomorrow night. Tess Daly and Bruce Forsyth are back as the hosts though Brucie is taking it a little easier this year, handing over to Claudia Winkleman for the results show. And this year the celebrity contestant are a bit more easily recognisable than the last few years.
Here we introduce you to the latest group of celebrities to done their dancing shoes.
Actress Felicity Kendal is probably best remembered for her roles in The Good Life and Rosemary and Thyme. Famous for winning the ‘rear of the year’ back in 1981, the 63 year old has said that her main worry about the show is the “going into the unknown. It would be such a shame if I fell over or got injured,” she confessed.
International DJ Goldie, 44, is no stranger to reality TV programmes having already appeared on Celebrity Big Brother and Celebrity Mastermind. He says that the dance he is most looking forward too is the salsa and Latin American. “The Salsa is so vibrant and Latin American is the perfect opportunity to release all my energy!”
Conservative MP and political icon, The Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe, 63, has already compared herself to former contestant John Sergeant admitting “watching him was the thing that persuaded me to do it.” Again she is no stranger to light entertainment having taken part in Celebrity Fit Club as well as guest hosting Have I Got News For You twice. She admits that her dance partner will have to have “the patience of Job!”
Rugby star Gavin Henson, 28, may still be getting over his split from Welsh singing sensation Charlotte Church but choosing to do Strictly shows that he is ready to throw himself back into the limelight. Gain has admitted though that the thing he is most nervous of is “getting aroused when I’m dancing close to my partner!” Ahem, maybe that is a little too much information Gav!
EastEnders actress Kara Tointon, 27, is ready to show her saucy style as she shimmies her way into our living rooms on a Saturday night. Kara comes with a little experience having already won the Sport’s Relief special of Strictly with former champion Mark Ramprekash. She says that she is most looking forward to the Tango “there’s something very seductive and powerful about that dance,” she said.
Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, 60, is determined to show that not all footballers have two left feet on the dance floor and that they can be as graceful as on the field. The former goalkeeper still holds the record as England’s most capped player but even he is unsure how he will be on the dance floor. “It’s unknown what my capabilities will be,” he confessed.
Actress Patsy Kensit, 42, has had a rough ride of it lately after her fourth marriage so publicly broke up. The small screen beauty, who has spent the best part of four decades gracing our screens, may well be using Strictly as a chance to raise her spirits and feel better about herself. “I’m just so excited to be a part of something so brilliant and head on a new personal journey,” she said.
Actor Jimi Mistry, 37, is taking a break from the big screen where he starred in East is East, The Guru and Blood Diamond to learn to quickstep into our affections. The actor is hoping that he will be partnered with someone who “can inspire me to do something that I never thought I’d be doing in a million years – a good teacher.” Well we hope he gets a good teacher too so we can see a little more of the suave film star.
Coronation Street’s Tina O’Brien, 27, won the hearts of the nation as Sarah Louise Platt and now the single mum of one is hoping to waltz on back. “I’m a beginner,” confesses Tina, “ so it would be great to feel that I’m partnered with someone who can guide me to learn the art of dance and help me pick up the steps quickly.”
Veteran magician Paul Daniels, is, at 72, the elder statesman of the group and will be hoping to work his magic on the audience but he admits that he doesn’t dance at all. “I feel sorry for whoever gets lumbered with me because they are really going to have their work cut out,” he said. No doubt his wife and assistant Debbie McGee will be on hand to offer her support.
A former star of EastEnders and The Bill Scott Maslen, 39, will be the torso that all us girls at home will be eagerly watching. The heartthrob, who has been voted soap’s sexiest man, wants to showcase some of his best moves to the nation. “I’m hoping I can incorporate some of my favourite routines like the worm dance as well as some crazy legs,” he said. “I forgot to ask, will lino be supplied or will I have to bring my own?” he asked.
Pamela Stephenson, 60, is an actress and comedienne probably best remembered for Not The Nine O’Clock News. However since settling down with husband Billy Connolly, she has retrained as a clinical psychologist. She is nervous about returning to the limelight saying: “It’s not like me to display myself physically – at least not for a many years – but I know I’m going to have to shake my butt in public! I’m a bit of a perfectionist so don’t want to make a terrible mistake and let down myself or my partner.” At least she can laugh about it if she does.
Pop diva Michelle Williams, 30, is best known as one third of American R&B girl group Destiny’s Child. She has just finished playing Roxie Hart in the Broadway production of Chicago so it is fair to say that she may have a slight advantage where the dancing is concerned. But she is still worried about what judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Alesha Dixon and Craig Revel-Horwood will say about her moves. “ No one likes to be judged,” she says. She is hoping to impress a royal however saying: “Maybe I can dance with Prince William one day after I’ve perfected a move or two.” We’re not sure what Kate would have to say about that!
Former Blue Peter and Countryfile presenter Matt Baker, 32, is more at home in a pair of wellies having grown up on a sheep farm but he is willing to swap them for a pair of dance shoes to show that he has some moves. The father of two confesses however that his biggest concern is forgetting his routines. The versatile TV personality has also been seen on The One Show sofa.
Strictly Come Dancing launches this Saturday night at 6.25pm on BBC1 where the celebrities will learn who their partners are and then will return with the start of the competition in three weeks time.