Laura Whitmore has been named as the first female celebrity contestant on the 2016 series of Strictly Come Dancing. The 31-year-old Irish TV presenter will join former shadow chancellor Ed Balls and Pop Idol star Will Young on this year's dancing competition.
Laura appeared on BBC Radio One's Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw on Wednesday morning to announce the news. "I've always known I wanted to do it," she said. "I remember as a kid my mum said, 'One day you'll do Strictly.' It's what she's always wanted me to do. She's very happy!
Laura Whitmore is the third confirmed Strictly Come Dancing contestant
"They asked me before and it was never the right time," she revealed. "But then they asked me again."
Laura said that she liked dancing, and had even spent a summer learning how to Irish dance as a child, but added: "I think ballroom and Latin are a bit different!"
"I'm going to train as much as possible," she said. "I really hope I'm good!"
Will Young is hoping to impress with some fancy footwork on the show
Laura's confirmation comes just one day after Will revealed he was taking part in the BBC show. "As a fan of Strictly for years, I have always imagined myself on the show, but the timing has not been right… until now!" the 37-year-old singer said.
"Music is my passion and the dancing I have done has always been with a microphone in hand. Now there will be no microphone or band, just me, my partner and the dance floor.
"Strictly is a show with fantastic live music and has an ethos of positivity and growth. I practice these two things every day and I will try my hardest to be the best dancer possible."
MP Ed Balls was the first Strictly celebrity to be revealed
Politician Ed, 49, was confirmed as the first celebrity Strictly contestant. While the news was first revealed on the Radio 2's Chris Evans Breakfast Show, the Strictly teams came up with the best way to share the announcement – by simply tweeting the words Ed Balls, in reference to the infamous 2011 moment when the MP tweeted his own name, now annually commemorated as Ed Balls Day.