strictly-2017

Strictly 2017: eighth celebrity contestant revealed!

JLS singer Aston Merrygold joins the celebrity line-up

Ainhoa Barcelona

Exciting news for Strictly Come Dancing fans! The eighth contestant has been confirmed to join this year's celebrity line-up – JLS star Aston Merrygold. The Everybody in Love singer said: "I'm so happy to be joining Strictly. It is such a brilliant show and I've followed it for years. I'm both nervous and excited to learn from the professionals about a whole new way of dancing!"

Aston, 29, is best known for being a member of pop group JLS. The band sold over ten million records worldwide, had five number one hits, a four-time platinum album, won a MOBO award, and even starred in their very own film, JLS – Eyes Wide Open. After five years, the band split and Aston became a judge on British talent show Got to Dance in 2013. He is now performing as a solo artist. His platinum debut solo record, Get Stupid, received huge international success.

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Aston is the eighth confirmed celebrity

The singer-songwriter joins a star-studded line-up on the dance show: Mollie King, Davood Ghadami, Ruth Langsford, Gemma Atkinson, Revd. Richard Coles, Joe McFadden and Simon Rimmer. Aston's signing comes just a day after The Sun reported that he would be competing on the show. A source said: "It doesn't have to be ballroom or Latin dancing experience to give someone an edge. Aston spent years being choreographed in JLS and that rhythm and ability to follow instructions puts him streets ahead of competitors. And if there was ever proof he knows a thing or two about dancing, he was a judge in a dance talent show."

Meanwhile, bets are on that Eamonn Holmes could join his wife Ruth Langsford on the show. The This Morning presenter is hotly tipped to join the competition. According to Betway, there is now a 6/4 chance that Eamonn will slip on his dancing shoes for the 2017 series.

More contestants will be announced in due course…