james cracknell and wife beverley turner

Is Olympic rower James Cracknell joining Strictly this year?

The sportsman split from his wife Beverley Turner last year

Ainhoa Barcelona

There may be a few months to go before this year's Strictly line-up is officially revealed, but that hasn't stopped various names from being bandied around. The latest is rowing legend James Cracknell, who is rumoured to be considering Strictly following the breakdown of his marriage last year. James, who is estranged from his wife and mother of his three children Beverly Turner, is said to be preparing to sign a contract.

According to The Sun, the newly single two-time Olympic gold medallist "has always been interested" and is "keen," but was previously discouraged by his wife. Producers have already sent a professional dancer to James' home for a formal pairing test, with a BBC1 source revealing that the athlete has been approached before. HELLO! has contacted James and Strictly's spokespeople for comment.

James and Beverley split last year

James, 47, and Beverley, 45, married in 2002. The couple have three children – a 15-year-old son Croyde, a ten-year-old daughter Kiki and another daughter Trixie, eight. Their split was announced in April with a statement reading: "We can confirm that sadly we separated last year. Together, we remain committed to our amazing children, they are our absolute priority."

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The rower won the Boat Race for Cambridge University in April

In April, following his triumphant win at the Boat Race where he rowed for Cambridge University, James addressed claims that he had "selfishly" put his sports career before his family. "Rowing and sport aren't the most important things in life. But to [achieve in sport], you do have to be a single-minded person," he told The Telegraph. "There's this perception that I've left my family to go off to Cambridge, selfishly, but that's a little exaggerated. And while yes, it may seem selfish, it also pays the bills."

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James was the oldest winner in the history of the Boat Race

James' comments come after Beverley had written a piece in The Times, detailing the strain of being married to an "extremely driven man" and a sports star of Olympic calibre. "As any woman will admit, there comes a time when you are sick of waking up alone on holiday because these alpha males are already at the laptop or on the rowing machine," she wrote.

"Twice we went to Barbados and James spent three hours a day on the running machine inside the hotel. Most women want a partner to drink Buck's Fizz with on the beach. We don't want a man who's fitting in gym sessions around kids' club hours."

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