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Strictly's Zara McDermott showcases flexibility in skintight leggings ahead of show debut

The former Love Island star was the seventh celebrity announced for Strictly Come Dancing 2023

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Jenni McKnight
Jenni McKnightUS Lifestyle Editor
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Zara McDermott is busy preparing her body for the gruelling task it's about to undertake after she was announced as one of 15 celebrities taking part in this year's Strictly Come Dancing. 

The 26-year-old took to her Instagram Stories on Friday and showed off her impressive flexibility as she worked up a sweat in the gym. Zara looked gorgeous in the makeup-free photo and displayed her toned physique in a pair of tight red leggings and a black sports bra. 

WATCH: Meet the stars of Strictly Come Dancing 2023

Posing for a mirror selfie, Zara can be seen on the floor almost doing the splits, with one leg extended straight back behind her and the other curled towards her hips, highlighting her sculpted derriere. Showing signs that she's going to give the competition her all, Zara captioned the snap: "Trying to be a mobility queen getting ready to [dancer emoji]." 

Zara was the seventh celebrity announced to take part in Strictly this year – she's also the first former Love Island star to appear on the BBC One show. Speaking to the BBC about her joining the competition, Zara said: "I am so excited to be joining the world of Strictly! I grew up watching it every year with my nan and she was the biggest Strictly fan. 

zara mcdermott gym photo almost splits© Instargam
Zara McDermott is certainly fit enough to take on the Strictly dancefloor

"We would dance around the house and I have such fond memories of that time in my life. I even remember the first-ever series, and being mesmerised by all the beautiful dresses! I can't wait to throw myself into this experience and start training. It's going to be incredible." 

After the news was confirmed on Radio 1's afternoon show, Zara's boyfriend, Sam Thompson threw his arms in the air with excitement as he recorded the announcement on his phone. "Go on Goose! The news is out! So damn excited for this journey," he wrote across the footage. 

Sam Thompson and Zara McDermott© getty
Sam Thompson and Zara McDermott have been dating since 2019

The 31-year-old later added another clip alongside his beautiful girlfriend and told his followers: "I'll be coming down [each week] with a placard. And I'm going to bring Pete [Wicks]. Pete, me, you, the whole squad. We're so proud of you." Zara then quipped: "I would love that." 

Zara now works as a broadcaster and content creator following her stint on the ITV2 dating show in 2018. Prior to her role in television, however, she worked as a government policy advisor, working for the Department of Energy and Climate Change and Department of Education. 

Zara McDermott headshot for Strictly© BBC
Zara McDermott is joining Strictly Come Dancing

On Friday, the 15th and final celebrity for the 2023 series was announced. The full line-up consists of Les Dennis, Annabel Croft, Nigel Harman, Bobby Brazier, Jody Cundy, Ellie Leach, Nikita Kanda, Adam Thomas, Angela Scanlon, Eddie Kadi, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Layton Williams, Angela Rippon, and Amanda Abbington. 

Celebrated newsreader Angela Rippon CBE, will be the show's oldest-ever contestant, turning 79 in October. Speaking about joining the line-up. She said: "Having been a fan of Strictly since day one, and as a former presenter of Come Dancing, this will be quite an adventure for me. A scary one, considering I’m about to be 79. But I’m really looking forward to the challenge, and perhaps being able to learn to dance the Argentinian Tango!"

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