Strictly 2021: Full line-up REVEALED as rugby star Ugo Monye becomes final contestant for new series

Rugby Union ace Ugo Monye is confirmed as the 15th and final contestant for the upcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing, completing the star-studded line-up which includes Tom Fletcher, Coronation Street’s Katie McGlynn, Tilly Ramsay and EastEnders’ Nina Wadia.  

The broadcaster and sports pundit, 38, will be competing in the 19th series of the iconic dancing competition which returns this autumn on Saturday and Sunday evenings. 

Ugo is preparing to put his dancing skills to the test on the glamorous ballroom floor in front of judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli‘s replacement Anton du Beke.

Last but not least! Rugby ace Ugo Monye is confirmed as the 15th and final contestant for the upcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing, completing the line-up which includes Tom Fletcher, Coronation Street's Katie McGlynn , Tilly Ramsay and EastEnders' Nina Wadia

Last but not least! Rugby ace Ugo Monye is confirmed as the 15th and final contestant for the upcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing, completing the line-up which includes Tom Fletcher, Coronation Street's Katie McGlynn , Tilly Ramsay and EastEnders' Nina Wadia

Last but not least! Rugby ace Ugo Monye is confirmed as the 15th and final contestant for the upcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing, completing the line-up which includes Tom Fletcher, Coronation Street’s Katie McGlynn , Tilly Ramsay and EastEnders’ Nina Wadia 

Commenting on his opportunity to star in Strictly, he said in an official statement: ‘What a dream come true! Strictly is the biggest entertainment show on TV and I can’t wait to show everyone I’ve got more than just dad dancing moves. 

‘My two beautiful daughters never had a chance to see me on the rugby pitch, so to know they can watch me waltzing and twirling every week is really special to me. I love an outfit at the best of times, so bring on the sequins!’ 

Beginning his rugby career at Harlequins in 2002, Ugo went on to make 241 appearances for the club where he scored 89 tries, won a Premiership and made his England debut in 2008. 

Since retiring from rugby in 2015, Ugo has become a respected face and voice in the world of sports presenting, hosting rugby coverage for BT Sport and ITV as well as the BBC 5 Live Rugby Union Weekly podcast. 

Debut: The broadcaster and sports pundit, 38, will be competing in the 19th series of the iconic dancing competition which returns this autumn on Saturday and Sunday evenings (pictured in 2010)

Debut: The broadcaster and sports pundit, 38, will be competing in the 19th series of the iconic dancing competition which returns this autumn on Saturday and Sunday evenings (pictured in 2010)

Debut: The broadcaster and sports pundit, 38, will be competing in the 19th series of the iconic dancing competition which returns this autumn on Saturday and Sunday evenings (pictured in 2010)

In July 2021, it was announced that Ugo would be one of the new team Captains on BBC One’s A Question of Sport. He was recently named the first ever Chairman of England Rugby’s new Diversity and Inclusion committee.

The athlete is the father to daughters Ruby, 18 months, and Phoenix, four, whom he shares with his wife Lucy Monye.

Ugo will be vying for the Glitterball Trophy against 14 contestants including McFly’s Tom, 36, Peep Show actor Robert Webb, 48, and presenter AJ Odudu, 33, who were revealed as the first three participants on last Wednesday’s edition of The One Show. 

Tom has big shoes to fill on Strictly. His McFly bandmate Harry Judd won the show in 2011, and Tom’s wife Giovanna Fletcher is the reigning champion of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! 

Man of many talents: Since retiring from rugby in 2015, Ugo has become a respected face and voice in the world of sports presenting, hosting rugby coverage for BT Sport and ITV as well as the BBC 5 Live Rugby Union Weekly podcast

Man of many talents: Since retiring from rugby in 2015, Ugo has become a respected face and voice in the world of sports presenting, hosting rugby coverage for BT Sport and ITV as well as the BBC 5 Live Rugby Union Weekly podcast

Man of many talents: Since retiring from rugby in 2015, Ugo has become a respected face and voice in the world of sports presenting, hosting rugby coverage for BT Sport and ITV as well as the BBC 5 Live Rugby Union Weekly podcast

Sweet: 'My two beautiful daughters never had a chance to see me on the rugby pitch, so to know they can watch me waltzing and twirling every week,' the athlete said, who is is the father to Ruby, 18 months, and Phoenix, four, with wife Lucy Monye

Sweet: 'My two beautiful daughters never had a chance to see me on the rugby pitch, so to know they can watch me waltzing and twirling every week,' the athlete said, who is is the father to Ruby, 18 months, and Phoenix, four, with wife Lucy Monye

Sweet: ‘My two beautiful daughters never had a chance to see me on the rugby pitch, so to know they can watch me waltzing and twirling every week,’ the athlete said, who is is the father to Ruby, 18 months, and Phoenix, four, with wife Lucy Monye

Robert is sure to feel the pressure too, after he squeezed into a shiny leotard to take the title of Let’s Dance For Comic Relief in 2009, performing What A Feeling from ’80s film Flashdance, beating the likes of Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness to the title.  

2021 has been a busy year for AJ who has featured on 14 TV shows, including Cooking With The Stars and Celebrity Karaoke Club. She has also appeared as a panellist on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two in the past.

Tom was the first celebrity announced on the BBC programme and said: ‘I’m so pleased the news is out it’s been so hard keeping it secret.’

Adding he has known he would be taking part since last Christmas, he said he is: ‘Equal parts excited and terrified. I feel naked without a guitar I’m so used to having a guitar on stage.’

The pop star also revealed that McFly bandmate Harry has already been giving him plenty of advice. 

He said: ‘I can’t shut Harry up about Strictly. He’s been giving me loads of advice already. I watched him every week. It was party watching him doing that and seeing what an amazing experience he had. Since then I’ve had a secret desire to do it.’ 

In a separate statement, Tom added: ‘I think the fact that I’m actually going to be dancing on Strictly this year has only just started to sink in while I’m writing this! I’m incredibly excited, of course, but also totally terrified!

‘My kids were excited too until I started showing them my best dad-dancing in the kitchen. I’m not sure how far they’ll get me in the competition but I can’t wait to add some new moves to my embarrassing dad-dancing repertoire.’

During The One Show when Tom was confirmed as a contestant, presenter Alex Jones read out a playful message from Harry that said: ‘I’m so pleased [Tom] is doing Strictly it’s win win for me. 

Big shoes to fill! Tom's McFly bandmate Harry Judd won Strictly in 2011 (pictured)

Big shoes to fill! Tom's McFly bandmate Harry Judd won Strictly in 2011 (pictured)

Dancing past: Robert is sure to feel the pressure too, after he squeezed into a shiny leotard to take the title of Let's Dance For Comic Relief in 2009, performing What A Feeling from '80s film Flashdance [pictured]

Dancing past: Robert is sure to feel the pressure too, after he squeezed into a shiny leotard to take the title of Let's Dance For Comic Relief in 2009, performing What A Feeling from '80s film Flashdance [pictured]

Big shoes to fill! Tom’s McFly bandmate Harry Judd won Strictly n 2011 (L) while Robert is sure to feel the pressure too, after he squeezed into a shiny leotard to take the title of Let’s Dance For Comic Relief in 2009, performing What A Feeling from ’80s film Flashdance (R)

Music and dancing: Tom is one quarter of boy band McFly (pictured in July with Dougie Poynter and Danny Jones) and he is married to Giovanna Fletcher who is the reigning champion of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

Music and dancing: Tom is one quarter of boy band McFly (pictured in July with Dougie Poynter and Danny Jones) and he is married to Giovanna Fletcher who is the reigning champion of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

Music and dancing: Tom is one quarter of boy band McFly (pictured in July with Dougie Poynter and Danny Jones) and he is married to Giovanna Fletcher who is the reigning champion of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

Excited: Tom was the first celebrity announced on the BBC programme and he said: 'I'm so pleased the news is out it's been so hard keeping it secret'

Excited: Tom was the first celebrity announced on the BBC programme and he said: 'I'm so pleased the news is out it's been so hard keeping it secret'

Excited: Tom was the first celebrity announced on the BBC programme and he said: ‘I’m so pleased the news is out it’s been so hard keeping it secret’

‘If he wins it’s great because he’s my mate and I’ll be happy for him, but if he doesn’t, even better ’cause I can remind him who did.’

Robert was the next star announced, along with a hilarious clip of his 2009 Comic Relief performance. 

The actor echoed the sentiments of Tom, admitting: ‘It’s very exciting but with a slight undertone of quivering terror.’

Robert had life-saving heart surgery last year after it was discovered he was suffering from a heart murmur caused by a mitral valve prolapse.  

Anticipation: In a separate statement, Tom added: 'I think the fact that I'm actually going to be dancing on Strictly this year has only just started to sink in while I'm writing this! I'm incredibly excited, of course, but also totally terrified!'

Anticipation: In a separate statement, Tom added: 'I think the fact that I'm actually going to be dancing on Strictly this year has only just started to sink in while I'm writing this! I'm incredibly excited, of course, but also totally terrified!'

Anticipation: In a separate statement, Tom added: ‘I think the fact that I’m actually going to be dancing on Strictly this year has only just started to sink in while I’m writing this! I’m incredibly excited, of course, but also totally terrified!’

'Undertone of terror': Robert was the next star announced, along with a hilarious clip of his 2009 Comic Relief performance

'Undertone of terror': Robert was the next star announced, along with a hilarious clip of his 2009 Comic Relief performance

‘Undertone of terror’: Robert was the next star announced, along with a hilarious clip of his 2009 Comic Relief performance

Dream team: He is best known for starring in the Channel 4 comedy Peep Show alongside David Mitchell (right)

Dream team: He is best known for starring in the Channel 4 comedy Peep Show alongside David Mitchell (right)

Dream team: He is best known for starring in the Channel 4 comedy Peep Show alongside David Mitchell (right)

He said the health scare made him want to take on more challenges as he told host Alex: ‘You get to a point in life where you think it’s not a time to be cool. These experiences don’t come along often in life. If you can do series 19 of Strictly, do!’

In a statement he added: ‘My goal is to try and survive from week to week without causing serious injury to myself or innocent bystanders. I know it’s going to be a challenge. To do well in this competition is a test of character, although mainly it’s a test of dancing.’ 

AJ was the third contestant announced on the show and she told how she kept her participation in the series a secret from her mother Florence, who was watching at home. 

AJ said: ‘The secret’s out at last, surprise mum! She didn’t know, she’s at home at mine fuming I’ve dragged her all the way to London and she was like, “You said we were hanging out and now you’re going out.” 

Overjoyed: AJ was the third contestant announced on The One Show and told how she kept her participation in the series a secret from her mother Florence, who was watching at home

Overjoyed: AJ was the third contestant announced on The One Show and told how she kept her participation in the series a secret from her mother Florence, who was watching at home

Overjoyed: AJ was the third contestant announced on The One Show and told how she kept her participation in the series a secret from her mother Florence, who was watching at home

Another mountain to climb: The presenter has previously faced her fears on SAS: Who Dares Wins (pictured) and she reckons the Strictly dancefloor will present its own unique set of challenges

Another mountain to climb: The presenter has previously faced her fears on SAS: Who Dares Wins (pictured) and she reckons the Strictly dancefloor will present its own unique set of challenges

Another mountain to climb: The presenter has previously faced her fears on SAS: Who Dares Wins (pictured) and she reckons the Strictly dancefloor will present its own unique set of challenges

‘She’s going to be watching now, absolutely beside herself. I can’t tell you how much we love the show. I’ve got seven siblings and you know how parents say they don’t have a favourite child, this is favourite child vibes right here. I’m not incredibly competitive, I just want to do my very best.’

The presenter has previously faced her fears on SAS: Who Dares Wins and she reckons the Strictly dancefloor will present its own unique set of challenges.

She said: ‘It’s not climbing a literal mountain but I think it’s going to be really challenging. I can’t wait for the sequins, the wigs, the glitz and the glamour.’

On Thursday, Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite, 33, was confirmed for the dancing competition and he will form one-half of the show’s first all-male partnership. 

Breaking boundaries: On Thursday, Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite , 33, was confirmed for Strictly and he will form one-half of the show's first all-male partnership

Breaking boundaries: On Thursday, Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite , 33, was confirmed for Strictly and he will form one-half of the show's first all-male partnership

Breaking boundaries: On Thursday, Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite , 33, was confirmed for Strictly and he will form one-half of the show’s first all-male partnership 

Yay! After the announcement, he took to Instagram to tearfully celebrate the news: ‘Oh my god, you guys, there’s so many nice messages already and I’ve only just come off-air and I’m actually crying real tears because of how nice you’re all being'

Yay! After the announcement, he took to Instagram to tearfully celebrate the news: ‘Oh my god, you guys, there’s so many nice messages already and I’ve only just come off-air and I’m actually crying real tears because of how nice you’re all being'

Yay! After the announcement, he took to Instagram to tearfully celebrate the news: ‘Oh my god, you guys, there’s so many nice messages already and I’ve only just come off-air and I’m actually crying real tears because of how nice you’re all being’

After much controversy during the show’s 17 year run over the prospect of a same-sex pairing, Strictly is finally addressing the call for change with John delightedly praising the ‘great step forward in representation and inclusion’. 

He said in a statement: ‘What’s exciting for me, is that I’m going to be one half of the first all-male partnership, which is a great step forward in representation and inclusion.’ 

He went on: ‘I’m so grateful, excited, and nervous to be joining the Strictly family… 

‘I’ve been wearing sequins and jazzy attire since I was three years old and can’t wait to hurl myself, full throttle, around the most glamorous dancefloor on earth… 

Back then: John won the third series of The Great British Bake Off, in 2012, at the age of 23 (pictured in 2016)

Back then: John won the third series of The Great British Bake Off, in 2012, at the age of 23 (pictured in 2016)

Back then: John won the third series of The Great British Bake Off, in 2012, at the age of 23 (pictured in 2016)

‘Whoever it is I’m paired with, I hope they are up for a challenge as I want our routines to include lots of spectacular lifts!’ 

John later took to Instagram to thank fans for their support, as he broke down in tears while talking into the camera. 

He said: ‘Oh my god, you guys, there’s so many nice messages already and I’ve only just come off-air and I’m actually crying real tears because of how nice you’re all being….

‘I’m so excited to be on Strictly, it’s a dream come true and it’s even more of a dream to be doing the first all-male partnership and I hope that there are kids watching who look up and think, “It’s okay to be who you are”. 

Natural performer: Presenter Rhys Stephenson, 27, who is best known as the face of children's television channel CBBC, will join the celebrities in this year's line-up

Natural performer: Presenter Rhys Stephenson, 27, who is best known as the face of children's television channel CBBC, will join the celebrities in this year's line-up

Busy bee: As well as presenting CBBC live, Rhys has also presented some of the biggest shows across the CBBC slate, including Blue Peter and Saturday Mash-Up!

Busy bee: As well as presenting CBBC live, Rhys has also presented some of the biggest shows across the CBBC slate, including Blue Peter and Saturday Mash-Up!

Natural performer: Presenter Rhys Stephenson, 27, who is best known as the face of children’s television channel CBBC, will join the celebrities in this year’s line-up 

‘So thanks for all the messages, I’m going back to bed, lots of love!’

John won the third series of The Great British Bake Off, in 2012, at the age of 23. John has also presented various TV shows and currently has a weekly cooking segment on Steph’s Packed Lunch. 

Presenter Rhys Stephenson, 27, who is best known as the face of children’s television channel CBBC, will join the celebrities in this year’s line-up. 

The TV star revealed his signing on Newsround on Friday where he said he is ‘buzzing’ to be a part of Strictly and ‘can’t wait’ to start rehearsals.

She means business: Meanwhile Dragons' Den's Sara Davies , 37, will try to dazzle on the dancefloor as she was revealed as the sixth Strictly Come Dancing star on Monday - joking that she can't wait to see the impact of training on her 'mum tum'

She means business: Meanwhile Dragons' Den's Sara Davies , 37, will try to dazzle on the dancefloor as she was revealed as the sixth Strictly Come Dancing star on Monday - joking that she can't wait to see the impact of training on her 'mum tum'

She means business: Meanwhile Dragons’ Den’s Sara Davies , 37, will try to dazzle on the dancefloor as she was revealed as the sixth Strictly Come Dancing star on Monday – joking that she can’t wait to see the impact of training on her ‘mum tum’

He commented: ‘I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation. 

‘I cannot wait to experience it all: the costumes, the orchestra, even Craig’s glare. I am ready.’

As well as presenting CBBC live, Rhys has also presented some of the biggest shows across the CBBC slate, including Blue Peter and Saturday Mash-Up! He has also appeared on The Dengineers and Newsround. 

Meanwhile Dragons’ Den’s Sara Davies, 37, will try to dazzle on the dancefloor as she was revealed as the sixth Strictly Come Dancing star on Monday – joking that she can’t wait to see the impact of training on her ‘mum tum’. 

Speaking about the show on Good Morning Britain on Monday, Sara said: ‘My Mam and Dad are going to be so excited. I’m really nervous because so far the producers keep asking me if I can dance. 

From the boardroom to the ballroom! Sara was the youngest ever dragon on the panel of entrepreneurs on BBC show (pictured) Dragons' Den, when she joined in 2019.

From the boardroom to the ballroom! Sara was the youngest ever dragon on the panel of entrepreneurs on BBC show (pictured) Dragons' Den, when she joined in 2019.

From the boardroom to the ballroom! Sara was the youngest ever dragon on the panel of entrepreneurs on BBC show (pictured) Dragons’ Den, when she joined in 2019.

‘Truth be told – I haven’t got a clue! I’ve not danced since I did ballet lessons when I was little. The business world has taught me that tenacity, drive and determination deliver results, I hope that I can bring that to the dancefloor.

‘And I’m excited to see the impact of all those hours of training on my mum tum.’ 

Sara was the youngest ever dragon on the panel of entrepreneurs on BBC show Dragons’ Den, when she joined in 2019. 

Meanwhile Former Coronation Street actress Katie, 27, and journalist Dan Walker, 44, were announced as additional stars for the 2021 line-up on Tuesday in a surprise double announcement. 

Katie confessed during Tuesday’s BBC Breakfast: ‘It’s been so hard keeping it a secret, but I can finally say that I’m getting ready to shake my shimmy and become part of the Strictly family! 

Shimmy onto the dancefloor: Actress Katie, 27, (pictured) and journalist Dan Walker, 44, were announced as additional stars for the 2021 line-up on Tuesday in a surprise double announcement

Shimmy onto the dancefloor: Actress Katie, 27, (pictured) and journalist Dan Walker, 44, were announced as additional stars for the 2021 line-up on Tuesday in a surprise double announcement

Part of the Strictly family: The former Corrie star and the TV presenter (pictured) were confirmed as being the seventh and eighth celebrities set to compete on the hit show during Tuesday's BBC Breakfast

Part of the Strictly family: The former Corrie star and the TV presenter (pictured) were confirmed as being the seventh and eighth celebrities set to compete on the hit show during Tuesday's BBC Breakfast

Revealed: Actress Katie, 27, (left) and journalist Dan Walker, 44, (right) were announced as additional stars for the 2021 line-up on Tuesday in a surprise double announcement

‘I’m really not a dancer, but I’m so excited to learn a new skill on this crazy journey and cannot wait to slip into some sequins along the way. 

‘Although I do get to have so much fun as an actress, a lot of my roles have involved quite serious and challenging storylines, so I’m fully ready to let my hair down and do something different, even if it is completely outside of my comfort zone. 

‘I can’t promise that I’ll be the best, but I’m going to give it 110 per cent on the dance floor! As long as I don’t fall over I’ll be happy.’ 

Katie is best known for her role as Sinead Tinker in Coronation Street, for which she was BAFTA nominated and won a National Television Award for Best Serial Drama Performance in 2020. 

The actress was also a regular in Waterloo Road and she appeared in BBC One dramas The Syndicate and Moving On. She currently stars in Hollyoaks as mysterious newcomer Becky Quentin.

While Dan, who recently quit Football Focus after 12 years at the helm, appeared via video on BBC Breakfast for the big reveal as he was on holiday after presenting the Olympics in Tokyo.

Bring it on: Katie admitted on the daytime programme that she's 'really not a dancer' but is so excited to learn a 'new skill'

Bring it on: Katie admitted on the daytime programme that she's 'really not a dancer' but is so excited to learn a 'new skill'

Bring it on: Katie admitted on the daytime programme that she’s ‘really not a dancer’ but is so excited to learn a ‘new skill’

Thespian: The star is best known for her role as Sinead Tinker in Corrie, for which she was BAFTA nominated and won a National Television Award for Best Serial Drama Performance in 2020 (pictured on the soap in 2019)

Thespian: The star is best known for her role as Sinead Tinker in Corrie, for which she was BAFTA nominated and won a National Television Award for Best Serial Drama Performance in 2020 (pictured on the soap in 2019)

Thespian: The star is best known for her role as Sinead Tinker in Corrie, for which she was BAFTA nominated and won a National Television Award for Best Serial Drama Performance in 2020 (pictured on the soap in 2019)

He said: ‘I only told my kids last weekend so they’re not very happy with me either, hardly anyone has been in the circle. I’m very sorry I was told it would make great telly if I didn’t tell you Louise! [Minchin, his co-presenter]’

Dan continued: ‘My 20 years of contemporary dance training are helpful! I’m one of those people I’ve danced at three weddings and two school discos.

‘I’m enjoying the experience when it starts of actually learning to dance. I’ll be honest I’m not making room on any shelves in my house for the Glitterball.’

And turning his attention to his mystery pro-partner and getting on the dancefloor, Dan said: ‘I will accept anyone if they will accept me! 

‘I’m 6ft 6 so the question often asked is can anyone that tall look half decent on the television when trying to dance, just anyone who is tall enough, and doesn’t mind the odd stray elbow in the back.’

Also, Matilda ‘Tilly’ Ramsay- who is the daughter of chef Gordon Ramsay – is set to make her dancing debut on the BBC show. 

Exciting news: Dan appeared via video on BBC Breakfast - much to the surprise of Katie - for the big reveal because he was on holiday after presenting the Olympics in Tokyo

Exciting news: Dan appeared via video on BBC Breakfast - much to the surprise of Katie - for the big reveal because he was on holiday after presenting the Olympics in Tokyo

Exciting news: Dan appeared via video on BBC Breakfast – much to the surprise of Katie – for the big reveal because he was on holiday after presenting the Olympics in Tokyo

She was unveiled as the ninth contestant during Wednesday’s episode of This Morning and her famous father also made a cameo on the daytime programme as he recorded a clip to show to her.

In the video, Gordon, 54, cheekily warned Tilly, 19, not to date any of the dancers, while Tilly admitted she was ‘terrified’ of the challenge that lies ahead. 

Tilly revealed she’ll be fitting in her appearance on the show around her studies, as she starts university in September, but said she’s ‘excited for the challenge’ of making it all work. 

Speaking on the show, Tilly said: ‘It’s slightly terrifying. Obviously my mum and dad knew. I’ve tried dancing when I was younger, ballet and stuff, but I wasn’t very good so I moved to football camp. 

‘Remembering choreography terrifies me. I’m looking forward to the glitz and the glamour, and learning something new – that’s always fun.’ 

Put on her dancing shoes: Also, Matilda 'Tilly', 19 - who is the daughter of chef Gordon Ramsay - is set to make her dancing debut on the BBC show

Put on her dancing shoes: Also, Matilda 'Tilly', 19 - who is the daughter of chef Gordon Ramsay - is set to make her dancing debut on the BBC show

Put on her dancing shoes: Also, Matilda ‘Tilly’, 19 – who is the daughter of chef Gordon Ramsay – is set to make her dancing debut on the BBC show

This Morning hosts Eammon Holmes and Ruth Langsford then surprised Tilly with a video message from her parents, in which dad Gordon said: ‘Wishing you all the very best. Proud of you girl.’

Tilly’s mum Tana then quipped, ‘Glad it’s her and not you [Gordon]. Tilly you’re incredibly brave. Good luck,’ before Gordon jumped in to warn: ‘And don’t date those dancers!’   

Tilly often shares dancing videos with her dad on TikTok and said she believes Gordon secretly wants to take part in Strictly, but he would be ‘too scared’ to go through with it.

She said: ‘I think he does, but I think he’d be too scared to. Trust me when I say he’s not the best dancer. Sorry, dad!’

Tilly commented in an additional statement: ‘I’m so excited and grateful to be joining the Strictly family! I’m always up for fun new challenges and this will be my biggest adventure yet! 

‘I’m going to put my heart and soul into this and can’t wait to get my dancing shoes on and show my dad how it’s really done! Bring on the glitz, glamour and sequins!’

Sweet: This Morning hosts Eammon Holmes and Ruth Langsford then surprised Tilly with a video message from her parents, in which dad Gordon said: 'Wishing you all the very best' and told her not to date any of the dancers

Sweet: This Morning hosts Eammon Holmes and Ruth Langsford then surprised Tilly with a video message from her parents, in which dad Gordon said: 'Wishing you all the very best' and told her not to date any of the dancers

Sweet: This Morning hosts Eammon Holmes and Ruth Langsford then surprised Tilly with a video message from her parents, in which dad Gordon said: ‘Wishing you all the very best’ and told her not to date any of the dancers

After the announcement, Gordon took to Instagram to gush: ‘ So proud of this one @tillyramsay youngest dancer ever ! good luck darling❤️ @bbcstrictly’. 

Chef, social media influencer and TV presenter Tilly has amassed over 9.5 million followers on TikTok. She presented Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch on CBBC, which saw her cooking and having adventures along with her family, for which she received three Children’s BAFTA nominations. 

In 2017 she published her first cookery book, inspired by the show, titled: Matilda & The Ramsay Bunch: Tilly’s Kitchen Takeover. 

Tilly and Gordon also host a regular cooking item on This Morning named Big Chef Little Chef. 

Greg Wise will be swapping acting for dancing on the upcoming series of Strictly as he was confirmed as the tenth participant on Wednesday. 

The Sense And Sensibility actor, 55, revealed he finally decided to sign-up to the show to honour the five year anniversary of his sister Clare’s death from cancer. 

Like father like daughter: Tilly often shares dancing videos with her dad on TikTok and said she believes Gordon secretly wants to take part in Strictly, but he would be 'too scared' to go through with it (pictured together in a throwback)

Like father like daughter: Tilly often shares dancing videos with her dad on TikTok and said she believes Gordon secretly wants to take part in Strictly, but he would be 'too scared' to go through with it (pictured together in a throwback)

Like father like daughter: Tilly often shares dancing videos with her dad on TikTok and said she believes Gordon secretly wants to take part in Strictly, but he would be ‘too scared’ to go through with it (pictured together in a throwback) 

Duo: Tilly and Gordon also host a regular cooking item on This Morning named Big Chef Little Chef, and they previously appeared together on the junior edition of MasterChef in America (pictured)

Duo: Tilly and Gordon also host a regular cooking item on This Morning named Big Chef Little Chef, and they previously appeared together on the junior edition of MasterChef in America (pictured)

Duo: Tilly and Gordon also host a regular cooking item on This Morning named Big Chef Little Chef, and they previously appeared together on the junior edition of MasterChef in America (pictured)

Speaking about his motivation, Greg – who is married to actress Emma Thompson – explained on This Morning: ‘Clare was a huge disco diva and we sent her out of this life in a disco ball coffin to banging 80s music.’

He continued: ‘She’s prodding me massively to do it. Clare will enjoy watching her little brother do it. She’ll be sitting on my left or right shoulder depending on how well I’m doing.’ 

Clare was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and started a witty and heartfelt blog detailing her battle with the disease. 

She was declared cancer-free in 2014, but in 2015, the disease was discovered by doctors in her bones and she was told it was incurable. There were tumours in her arms, ribs, spine and skull. 

Greg cancelled a family holiday in Greece and moved into his sister Clare’s London flat in the final three months of her life, in order to be her full-time carer. She tragically passed away in 2016 aged 51. 

On the night she died, the actor wiped her face, told her he loved her and gave her permission to go when she wanted. She died one minute later, holding his hand. 

Ready for action: Greg Wise, 55, will be swapping acting for dancing on the upcoming series as he was confirmed as the tenth participant on Wednesday

Ready for action: Greg Wise, 55, will be swapping acting for dancing on the upcoming series as he was confirmed as the tenth participant on Wednesday

Ready for action: Greg Wise, 55, will be swapping acting for dancing on the upcoming series as he was confirmed as the tenth participant on Wednesday

Greg is known for his various film, television and theatre roles, including The Crown, Cranford, Walking On Sunshine and his breakout role in Sense And Sensibility. 

Meanwhile former EastEnders actress Nina, 52, admitted on Lorraine that the only way she stands a chance of winning Strictly is if she ‘blindfolds the judges’, as it was announced on Thursday that she will join the show in autumn.  

Speaking to stand-in host Christine Lampard on the daytime show, the mother-of-two admitted: ‘I am so scared! I like dancing like no one’s watching, so we just need to blindfold the judges and I’m going to win!

‘I think I should do this before I’m too old and can’t walk anymore. I just want to grab life by the horns and just enjoy it.’

Nina added that she was concerned about getting dolled up with all the typical Strictly glamour as she confessed: ‘I always been a little bit of a tomboy so this is going to be a little bit of a struggle with me, the sequins and tanning – which makes me laugh because I’m Indian!’

Tragic: The Sense And Sensibility actor, 55, revealed he finally decided to sign-up to the show to honour the five year anniversary of his sister Clare's death from cancer (pictured in 2013)

Tragic: The Sense And Sensibility actor, 55, revealed he finally decided to sign-up to the show to honour the five year anniversary of his sister Clare's death from cancer (pictured in 2013)

Tragic: The Sense And Sensibility actor, 55, revealed he finally decided to sign-up to the show to honour the five year anniversary of his sister Clare’s death from cancer (pictured in 2013)

Cute couple: Greg appeared on This Morning to talk about Strictly and said that his wife Emma Thompson was 'stupidly excited' that he would be appearing on the show (pictured in 2020)

Cute couple: Greg appeared on This Morning to talk about Strictly and said that his wife Emma Thompson was 'stupidly excited' that he would be appearing on the show (pictured in 2020)

Cute couple: Greg appeared on This Morning to talk about Strictly and said that his wife Emma Thompson was ‘stupidly excited’ that he would be appearing on the show (pictured in 2020) 

Discussing her fellow contestants she revealed she’s already guessed a winner, saying: ‘I love Robert Webb and I think he’s amazing. 

‘I’d want to vote for him and when I saw him do his flash dance for Comic Relief I thought no one can top that!’ 

Nina concluded: ‘It’s been a bit of a tough ride for a couple of years so I think its time we can go into fantasy land. I don’t even mind if people laugh at me, I just want people to laugh!’ 

She is best known for playing Zainab Masood in EastEnders, where she won Best Onscreen Partnership and Best Comedy at the British Soap Awards, before leaving the soap in 2013.

The actress also had starring roles in Goodness Gracious Me and the Open All Hours spin-off Still Open All Hours.  

Fellow EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis, 30, will make history as the first deaf contestant to take part in Strictly after she was confirmed as a contestant on Thursday night, just hours after her former co-star Nina.

One to watch: Greg is an actor known for his various film, television and theatre roles, including The Crown (pictured) Cranford and his breakout role in Sense And Sensibility

One to watch: Greg is an actor known for his various film, television and theatre roles, including The Crown (pictured) Cranford and his breakout role in Sense And Sensibility

One to watch: Greg is an actor known for his various film, television and theatre roles, including The Crown (pictured) Cranford and his breakout role in Sense And Sensibility

Sense of humour: Meanwhile former EastEnders actress Nina, 52, admitted on Lorraine that the only way she stands a chance of winning Strictly is if she 'blindfolds the judges', as it was announced on Thursday that she will join the show in autumn

Sense of humour: Meanwhile former EastEnders actress Nina, 52, admitted on Lorraine that the only way she stands a chance of winning Strictly is if she 'blindfolds the judges', as it was announced on Thursday that she will join the show in autumn

Sense of humour: Meanwhile former EastEnders actress Nina, 52, admitted on Lorraine that the only way she stands a chance of winning Strictly is if she ‘blindfolds the judges’, as it was announced on Thursday that she will join the show in autumn

The actress, 30, who plays Frankie Lewis, said she hopes by taking part in Strictly, that she will ‘break down barriers’ for the deaf community.  

‘To be the first deaf contestant on Strictly Come Dancing is sooooo exciting.. and a little bit scary,’ Rose said in a statement. 

‘It is the hardest secret I have ever had to keep so it feels amazing to finally have this out in the open. 

‘I hope I will do the deaf community proud and break down more barriers. But I am also very excited to learn an incredible new skill and even better I get to learn whilst wearing beautiful dresses made especially for me.’

Will Bayley, JJ Chalmers and Lauren Steadman have also starred in the show in previous years while raising awareness for disabilities. 

Rose is the first ever deaf actor to play a deaf character on EastEnders. She has previously appeared in various stage productions, and her other TV credits include Summer Of Rockets and Casualty. Rose uses British Sign Language (BSL) to communicate. 

Quip: Speaking to stand-in host Christine Lampard on the daytime show, the mother-of-two admitted: 'I am so scared! I like dancing like no one's watching, so we just need to blindfold the judges and I'm going to win!'

Quip: Speaking to stand-in host Christine Lampard on the daytime show, the mother-of-two admitted: 'I am so scared! I like dancing like no one's watching, so we just need to blindfold the judges and I'm going to win!'

Candid: Nina added that she was concerned about getting dolled up with all the typical Strictly glamour as she confessed: 'I always been a little bit of a tomboy so this is going to be a little bit of a struggle with me'

Candid: Nina added that she was concerned about getting dolled up with all the typical Strictly glamour as she confessed: 'I always been a little bit of a tomboy so this is going to be a little bit of a struggle with me'

Quip: Speaking to stand-in host Christine Lampard on the daytime show, the mother-of-two admitted: ‘I am so scared! I like dancing like no one’s watching, so we just need to blindfold the judges and I’m going to win!’ 

One to watch: The actress is best known for playing Zainab Masood in EastEnders , where she won Best Onscreen Partnership and Best Comedy at the British Soap Awards, before leaving the soap in 2013

One to watch: The actress is best known for playing Zainab Masood in EastEnders , where she won Best Onscreen Partnership and Best Comedy at the British Soap Awards, before leaving the soap in 2013

One to watch: The actress is best known for playing Zainab Masood in EastEnders , where she won Best Onscreen Partnership and Best Comedy at the British Soap Awards, before leaving the soap in 2013

Rounding off the cast for the 2021 series, Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty MBE, 26, and Loose Women panellist Judi Love, 41, were both unveiled on Friday as the 13th and 14th contestants.

Adam was announced first as he appeared on BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat and admitted he’s ‘bricking it’, despite being used to performing under intense pressure. 

The athlete just returned from the Tokyo 2020 games, where he made history by becoming the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title, after claiming gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics and Tokyo 2020 in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke.

Now the swimmer is taking on a new challenge and is hoping his competitive nature will serve him well on the dancefloor. 

Adam said in a statement: ‘I think this will come as a surprise to a lot of people, but I’m so excited to finally share the news that I’ll be joining Strictly this year. 

‘I’m really looking forward to doing something totally different and challenging myself away from the pool. I’m hoping my competitive nature is going to compensate for my dancing abilities!’ 

Star-studded: Fellow EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis , 30, will make history as the first deaf contestant to take part in Strictly after she was confirmed as a contestant on Thursday night, just hours after her former co-star Nina

Star-studded: Fellow EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis , 30, will make history as the first deaf contestant to take part in Strictly after she was confirmed as a contestant on Thursday night, just hours after her former co-star Nina

Star-studded: Fellow EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis , 30, will make history as the first deaf contestant to take part in Strictly after she was confirmed as a contestant on Thursday night, just hours after her former co-star Nina 

Twinkle toes: The actress, 30, who plays Frankie Lewis (pictured on EastEnders), said she hopes by taking part in Strictly, that she will 'break down barriers' for the deaf community

Twinkle toes: The actress, 30, who plays Frankie Lewis (pictured on EastEnders), said she hopes by taking part in Strictly, that she will 'break down barriers' for the deaf community

Twinkle toes: The actress, 30, who plays Frankie Lewis (pictured on EastEnders), said she hopes by taking part in Strictly, that she will ‘break down barriers’ for the deaf community

Speaking on Newsbeat Adam, he added: ‘I’ve swam for seven years and I’ve gone through the constant cycle of championship, back to back to training, go back to the drawing board, another championship… but I’ve never been truly uncomfortable. 

‘This is going to be very interesting, I’m going to be very uncomfortable!’

He continued: ‘The best way about this way and this path is that if I take too much time out of physical training, I get fat, I get big, I have too much muscle on, whereas Strictly is going to keep me fit, it’s a change of stimulus. 

‘I’m going to do something I’ve never done before, and hopefully have a lot of fun. He added that ‘very few’ people knew about his signing, including his mum.

Meanwhile Judi was revealed as the next contestant live on Loose Women. During the announcement on the show, she said: ‘I don’t have any moves yet. I’m so nervous it’s so out of comfort zone, but what an opportunity to learn a new skill.

Dancing shoes: Rounding off the cast for the 2021 series, Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty MBE, 26, and Loose Women panellist Judi Love, 41, were both unveiled on Friday as the 13th and 14th contestants

Dancing shoes: Rounding off the cast for the 2021 series, Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty MBE, 26, and Loose Women panellist Judi Love, 41, were both unveiled on Friday as the 13th and 14th contestants

Dancing shoes: Rounding off the cast for the 2021 series, Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty MBE, 26, and Loose Women panellist Judi Love, 41, were both unveiled on Friday as the 13th and 14th contestants

Champion: Now the athlete (pictured in July) is taking on a new challenge and is hoping his competitive nature will serve him well on the dancefloor

Champion: Now the athlete (pictured in July) is taking on a new challenge and is hoping his competitive nature will serve him well on the dancefloor

Wow: The Olympian has just returned from the Tokyo 2020 games (pictured earlier this month), where he made history by becoming the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title

Wow: The Olympian has just returned from the Tokyo 2020 games (pictured earlier this month), where he made history by becoming the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title

Champion: The athlete is taking on a new challenge and is hoping his competitive nature will serve him well on the dancefloor

‘I’ve known a few weeks. My friends were asking who it was but I couldn’t say anything. I’m overwhelmed with excitement.’

Commenting on who she would like her professional partner to be, she remarked: ‘I don’t know his name but the one with long hair I’d like to be paired with. This is something very new for you I am thrilled.’

Judi then rang her mum Kelly live on-air who congratulated her. The comedian said in an additional statement: ‘I think I am still in shock that I will be part of this amazing show. 

‘I’ve watched it for many years and admired the phenomenal abilities of these dancers and celebrities that have taken part and dedicated themselves to learning a new craft. 

‘I’m truly looking forward to pushing myself in something that I could have only dreamed of doing and now it’s actually coming true! I can’t lie I’m soooo nervous but excited at the same time!’

Judi began her career in stand-up comedy in 2011 and joined Loose Women as a panellist in 2020. She also starred on Celebrity MasterChef last year and made it through to the finals.  

Put to the test: Judi was revealed as the next contestant live on Loose Women where she said: 'I don't have any moves yet. I'm so nervous it's so out of comfort zone, but what an opportunity to learn a new skill'

Put to the test: Judi was revealed as the next contestant live on Loose Women where she said: 'I don't have any moves yet. I'm so nervous it's so out of comfort zone, but what an opportunity to learn a new skill'

Dancing shoes: Meanwhile Judi was revealed as the next contestant live on Loose Women

New contestant: During the announcement on the show, she said: 'I don't have any moves yet. I'm so nervous it's so out of comfort zone, but what an opportunity to learn a new skill'

New contestant: During the announcement on the show, she said: 'I don't have any moves yet. I'm so nervous it's so out of comfort zone, but what an opportunity to learn a new skill'

New contestant: During the announcement on the show, she said: ‘I don’t have any moves yet. I’m so nervous it’s so out of comfort zone, but what an opportunity to learn a new skill’

In demand: Judi began her career in stand-up comedy in 2011 and joined Loose Women as a panellist in 2020. She also starred on Celebrity MasterChef last year and made it through to the finals

In demand: Judi began her career in stand-up comedy in 2011 and joined Loose Women as a panellist in 2020. She also starred on Celebrity MasterChef last year and made it through to the finals

In demand: Judi began her career in stand-up comedy in 2011 and joined Loose Women as a panellist in 2020. She also starred on Celebrity MasterChef last year and made it through to the finals

STRICTLY COME DANCING 2021: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?

TOM FLETCHER

Age: 36

Profession: McFly musician

Tom says: ‘I’m so pleased the news is out it’s been so hard keeping it secret. Equal parts excited and terrified.’

Fun fact: Tom’s McFly bandmate Harry Judd won Strictly Come Dancing in 2011. Tom’s wife Giovanna Fletcher is the reigning champion of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

ROBERT WEBB

 Age: 48

Profession: Actor and comedian

Robert says: ‘It’s very exciting but with a slight undertone of quivering terror.’

Fun Fact: Robert squeezed into a shiny leotard to take the title of Let’s Dance For Comic Relief in 2009, performing What A Feeling from ’80s film Flashdance, beating the likes of Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness to the title. 

RHYS STEPHENSON  

Age: 27

Profession: CBBC presenter  

Rhys says: ‘I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation’

Fun fact: Rhys has been an actor since the age of ten, performing alongside Matt Smith and Hugh Bonneville. 

 

AJ ODUDU

Age: 33

Profession: TV presenter

 AJ says: ‘I think it’s going to be really challenging. I can’t wait for the sequins, the wigs, the glitz and the glamour.’

Fun Fact: Apocalypse Wow hosts AJ has featured on a whopping 14 TV shows this year, competing in the likes oF Cooking With The Stars and Celebrity Karaoke Club. She has appeared as a panelist on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two in the past, too.

JOHN WHAITE

Age: 33

Profession: Great British Bake Off Winner and TV chef

 John says: ‘I’m so grateful, excited, and nervous to be joining the Strictly 2021 family… I’ve been wearing sequins and jazzy attire since I was three years old and can’t wait to hurl myself, full throttle, around the most glamorous dance floor on earth’

Fun Fact: John is set tp be part of the first ever all-male partnering – the first in 17 years of the show

 

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