Ainsley Harriott is the second confirmed Strictly Come Dancing contestant

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TV chef and presenter Ainsley Harriott is the second celebrity contestant to be confirmed for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing. The announcement was made live on The One Show on Tuesday evening, where Ainsley was a surprise guests joining hosts Matt Baker and Alex Jones on the sofa.

"I must admit that I do love to dance, but doing it in front of the nation is a whole different matter!" 58-year-old Ainsley said. "In my day job the only type of salsa I know about is the one in my recipes, so I am looking forward to rising to the challenge, bring it on!"

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Ainsley Harriott is the second confirmed Strictly Come Dancing contestant



Ainsley is the second confirmed celebrity taking part in the new series, which starts in September; on Monday, Jeremy Vine was announced as the first contestant.

Ainsley commented that his Strictly rival Jeremy, 50, had a "wonderful discipline about him".

He added: "Everything he does is structured and he plans it. When it comes to dancing it is all about the discipline and how much effort you put in. If you put the time in then you can be a bit more expressive."

Jeremy Vine was announced as the first Strictly contestant on Monday

Ainsley, who hosted BBC One cookery show Ready Steady Cook for 16 years from 1994 until 2010, also confirmed that he hasn't yet been told who his partner will be.

The chef currently stands as the show outsider; journalist Jeremy had his odds slashed to 25-1 following the announcement of Ainsley, who currently stands at 66-1.

Nicola McGeady of Coral bookmakers told the Mail Online: "Ainsley Harriott has replaced Jeremy Vine as the outside to win this year's glitterball trophy, with the odds suggesting that he won't be as smooth on the dance floor as he is in the kitchen."

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