The fourth celebrity contestant joining the Strictly Come Dancing line-up has been announced. Actress Gemma Atkinson is the latest star confirmed for the BBC dancing competition, with the news announced on BBC Breakfast on Thursday. Speaking about her upcoming appearance on the show, Gemma, 32, said: "I am honoured to be asked and so thrilled to be joining Strictly Come Dancing 2017! I'm beyond excited and incredibly nervous but I am looking forward to learning a new skill in ballroom and Latin dancing and taking on this challenge."
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Gemma found fame playing Lisa Hunter in Channel 4 sitcom Hollyoaks, between 2001 and 2005. Since then she has appeared as Tamzin Bayne in Casualty, and was most recently seen on Emmerdale playing Carly Hope, for which she was nominated for 'Best newcomer' at the National Television Awards in 2016.
Gemma Atkinson is the fourth confirmed celebrity for Strictly 2017
She is the fourth confirmed celebrity for the 217 series, joining Ruth Langsford, EastEnders actor Davood Ghadami and Mollie King. Ruth's appearance on the show was announced on Wednesday. "I have dreamt about doing Strictly for so long, I can't quite believe my dream has come true!" the Loose Women host said. "The sum of my dance experience is throwing a few shapes at a party, I've never had a dance lesson in my life. Without doubt it will be the scariest yet most exciting thing I've ever done. It will be a welcome change worrying about my next hot move instead of my next hot flush."
The new series of Strictly will begin on BBC One in September. It will be the first series without Len Goodman on the judging panel; Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood will instead by joined by international ballroom champion Shirley Ballas in the head judge role.