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Strictly Come Dancing: Official pictures of contestants released

We can't wait!

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Andrea Caamano
Website Editor
September 3, 2019
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On Saturday 7 September at 7.10pm, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will host an exclusive Strictly Come Dancing premiere and roll out the red carpet to welcome the celebrity class of 2019. Here, we officially introduce the FIFTEEN star contestants that will "keep dancing" until one of them takes home the Glitterball trophy in December. First up...

Alex Jones MBE

Footballer Alex has been a fan of the show since forever and back in 2012 she tweeted at Strictly asking to take part. She wants to be paired with a professional dancer with a big personality, who tells her what to do – in a fun way!

The 34-year-old can't wait to wear all the glam costumes that come with the job and expect to see a lot of her former teammates in the audience as they've already asked her for tickets!

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Anneka Rice

Anneka has no prior dance experience, she has even admitted to never dancing at a family wedding! Despite her lack of knowledge, she is looking forward to learning a new skill.

She would like to be paired with a "very patient and understanding" professional partner with a "stoking sense of humour".

She finds the Strictly costumes "alarming" as she only ever wears jeans and has never worn pink. We can't wait to see her "Strictlyfied" every weekend!

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Catherine Tyldesley

Catherine has been a fan of the hit dance show since it first aired but admits she is not a dancer as she never had the confidence to take part in dance lessons.

She is most excited about the dresses and costumes as she is a "girly-girl". The former Coronation Street star would like a supportive partner because "dancing is out of my comfort zone" and she will need someone patient.

Expect to see Jason Manford and the cast of Corrie in the audience – they've all requested tickets!

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Chris Ramsey

Chris loves to dance, despite never having danced before and is "really looking forward to the whole journey", mainly "getting fit".

He is looking to be paired up with someone "who won't mind having their toes stood on" and describes himself as a competitive person.

The comedian also reveals he would love to have his three-year-old son cheering him on from the audience.

david james strictly official pictures

David James MBE

David was hesitant to take part in Strictly until his good friend Mark Foster told him how much he had enjoyed his time on the show, thanks Mark!

He is looking forward to the first show, "meeting everyone, the training, getting dressed up".

The footballer would like to be paired up with someone "who has the strength and patience to help me do them the credit their skills deserve".

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Dev Griffin

Dev is excited about taking part in the show, mainly because it will improve his fitness. "You can't blag Strictly, you have to put the hard work in and really go for it and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in," he said.

He describes himself as "fiercely competitive" but admits to having no dance experience other than "dancing in a club with my mates".

He is looking for a "patient, understanding and equally competitive" dance partner. We wonder who it will be!

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Emma Barton

Emma describes herself as Strictly's biggest fan and is sad she won't get to watch it from home "with my glass of red wine" but is "raring to go".

She has no dance experience and is looking to be paired up with someone with a sense of humour. Her strengths are listening and taking directions whilst her weakness "is probably getting the step right".

Whilst taking part on the hit show she will continue to play Honey Mitchell in EastEnders which will mean a lot of juggling!

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Viscountess Emma Weymouth

Emma loves dancing but her biggest regret in life is not having ever trained, so when she was offered Strictly she said yes "in a heartbeat".

She wants a tall partner (she is 5"8) who is strong so they can do amazing lifts together!

The 33-year-old considers herself a competitive person and despite dreading the live shows and the fact that the experience will be "extremely intense, emotionally and physically", she is "so looking forward to it".

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James Cracknell OBE

James describes himself as a slow learner and admits he is incredibly nervous about taking part in the show.

Despite that, he is excited about having a good time and to being paired up with a professional dancer who is patient but is "not afraid to fire a rocket up my ass, and have very tough feet".

His estranged wife Bev was the first to find out about his exciting new adventure and has been "really supportive". Expect to see them in the audience!

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Jamie Laing

He has made his mum really happy by taking part as it's her favourite show! Expect to see her cheering him on in all the shows, alongside friends Spencer Matthews and Proudlock.

Despite not having much dance experience, the MIC star is in it to win it! "I really want to win Strictly – and that's what I'm going to try to do." 

So who does he want as a partner? "I want my partner to be someone with the same passion and drive to go and win it. That's it. I don't mind who it is. I just want to go for it."

michelle visage strictly

Michelle Visage

Michelle has been obsessed with ballroom dancing for years, despite NEVER taking a lesson. She "loves the tans, the hips, the fringe, the faces and the drama," so we think she'll feel right at home!

She is looking to be paired up with a dancer who is "creative at choreography, who has patience for all my endless chatter, and obviously we need to have a laugh to get through eight-hour rehearsals".

The 50-year-old star wants to make it to Blackpool as she is "extremely competitive". And let's hope she makes it far, as her friends RuPaul and Leah Remini want to come and watch her perform!

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Mike Bushell

Strictly has always been his favourite show, so it's no surprise that he is excited about taking part! "I'd like to inspire other people who maybe think that they can't dance to get up off the sofa at the weekend and go and try something new, whether it’s taking up dancing or maybe just getting up at the next disco or wedding."

The BBC presenter is looking for a partner who can "throw me around". "I feel sorry for whoever gets me because if they have any ambition of going all the way they may be disappointed. I will say to whoever gets me, I'll listen and I'll try. I'll be obedient and they can tell me off if I get too carried away. They can rein my energy in a bit. It will be a privilege to get any of them."

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Saffron Baker

Saffron is mostly looking forward to dancing and "trying on the dresses!" She is looking for a partner who is determined and strict, "but kindness and patience is always appreciated".

Despite taking dance lessons when she was eight years old, the YouTuber reveals she has never done ballroom or Latin. Expect to see her family and friends in the audience and possible some familiar faces such as James from The Vamps!

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Will Bayley MBE

Will wants to "fly the flag for disabled athletes" like Jonnie Peacock and Lauren Steadman have done in the past.

"I was born with a condition called Arthrosis, it affects all four of my limbs and the muscles around them. It's really difficult to build muscle and keep muscle. It affects my hands and my feet, so dancing is going to be really challenging."

Despite the challenges he faces, he is excited and can't wait to find out who his partner is. "I want someone who is confident – and not afraid of my disability. I want them to be encouraging and to tell me I can do it, even when I think I can't. I know my disability is restrictive, but I'll train and I will try really hard."


Karim Zeroual

Karim can't wait to learn a new skill and to get into the costumes. "I'm excited to train and get a good routine together – and then all I can do is do my best to impress the judges and the audience," he said.

Despite not having taken any lessons before, the CBBC presenter loves to dance at parties and admits "there's rhythm in my bones".

He wants to be paired up with "someone friendly and fun – but firm. I'm quite energetic, so I need someone to reel me in sometimes. I am here to work hard. Hopefully my partner and I will have a good balance."

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