Strictly Come Dancing 2023 announces first of this year’s celebrity contestants

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Strictly Come Dancing 2023 announces first of this year’s celebrity contestants

Strictly Come Dancing 2023 is nearly upon us.

On Friday (4 August), the first batch of celebrity contestants were revealed on The One Show.

Sherlock star Amanda Abbington was the first to be announced. The 49-year-old actor who played Dr Watson’s wife Mary Morstan in Steven Moffat’s Sherlock Holmes series told Alex Jones and Roman Kemp that she was “incredibly competitive”.

Broadcasting icon Angela Rippon was the second star to be announced. The 78-year-old became the first female journalist to permanently present the BBC national television news in 1975.

“It’ll be wonderful if I can last long enough, a few weeks, and demonstrate that even at my age that it genuinely is possible for people who are older to be able to dance… to keep fit and strong… and feel a million dollars,” she said.

The veteran presenter was then shown dropping into the splits.

Bad Education star Layton Williams was then announced as the third contestant on The One Show. The 28-year-old has recently performed the title role in Billy Elliot the Musical on the West End.

Williams said he was a “perfectionist” when it came to dancing but he wasn’t trained in Latin and Ballroom dancing. He added that he wants a male dance partner who will “throw me around”.

Angela Rippon (left) and Amanda Abbington on ‘The One Show’

(BBC One)

Dame Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse are all set to return as judges.

Professional dancer Amy Dowden, however, announced last month that she would not be competing on this year’s show after a second cancer diagnosis.

The 32-year-old dancer announced she had grade three cancer in May but was hopeful surgery would solve it. However, doctors found more tumours and another type of cancer, meaning more treatment is required, including chemotherapy.

Dowden joined Strictly in 2017, and has competed in every series since, reaching the final in 2019 with kids’ TV presenter Karim Zeroual.

More to follow…

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