We introduce the stars hoping to impress as Strictly Come Dancing contestants 2015
Strictly Come Dancing is back for another series and a host of stars will be taking to the floor with their professional partners.
From singers to soap stars and sportsmen to TV presenters, it’s fair to say the BBC have recruited an eclectic mix of hopefuls.
Name: Peter Andre
Occupation: Singer and TV presenter
Peter started his career as a pop star, releasing catchy singles including Mysterious Girl and Flava.
He went on to appear on reality series I’m A Celebrity in 2004 and was appointed the host of 60 Minute Makeover in 2013.
Peter began presenting ITV series Give A Pet A Home in 2015.
How Peter feels about taking part…
‘I’m nervous because it will be a very new experience for me. I’m of Greek origin, I can get quite dark so I need to take it easy on the fake tan!’
Name: Kirsty Gallacher
Occupation: TV presenter
Kirsty’s working life started with a role as a production assistant at Sky in 1996, two years before she got her presenting break on Sky Sports News.
She’s since fronted The Games, Kirsty’s Home Videos and early morning show RI:SE on Channel 4.
Kirsty moved back to Sky in 2011 and she’s been there ever since.
How Kirsty feels about taking part…
‘Sport and fitness have always been a big part of my life but dancing is an entirely new challenge for me. I can’t wait to get started.’
Name: Iwan Thomas
Occupation: Athlete and TV presenter
Iwan has represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland as a sprinter at the Olympic Games and Wales at the Commonwealth Games.
He’s bagged an impressive number of medals along the way.
Iwan’s also enjoyed a number of TV presenting roles including kids’ show Best Of Friends alongside Zoe Salmon and BT Sport’s MotoGP Tonight programme with Craig Doyle.
How Iwan feels about taking part…
‘I love watching the show and I can’t believe I’m swapping my running spikes for dancing shoes.
‘I used to be quick at running around the track and I’m just hoping my dance partner doesn’t leave me behind.’
Name: Georgia May Foote
Georgia is best known for playing Katy Armstrong in Coronation Street from 2010 – 2015.
Before bagging her role on the soap, Georgia appeared on Grange Hill, Heartbeat, Life On Mars and Doctors.
How Georgia feels about taking part…
‘I have already come home with sequins and shoes. I have only been for one dress fitting and they are everywhere already.’
Name: Anthony Ogogo
Although Anthony’s been donning gloves since he was 12, he found popularity in 2012 after making it into the Team GB Olympic squad.
His skill in the ring earned Anthony a bronze medal at the 2012 games.
How Anthony feels about taking part…
‘I’ve faced a lot of tough opposition in the past, but I’ve never faced anyone as tough as the Strictly judges before.
‘My mum is a massive fan of the show so I will be trying my hardest to make her proud.’
Name: Carol Kirkwood
Occupation: Weather presenter
You’ll recognise Carol as the main weather presenter on BBC Breakfast.
She also chats about the forecast on Chris Evans’ Radio 2 morning show and regularly appears on The One Show.
How Carol feels about taking part…
‘I am beyond excited to be taking part in the best programme on British telly and have been a huge fan since it started!
‘I can’t wait to learn to dance and hope my experience on Strictly will be a breeze, whether it will be or not is one forecast I cannot predict!’
Name: Jay McGuiness
Jay became a star in 2009 when The Wanted’s debut single All Time Low raced to No 1 in the UK charts.
Before the lads decided to part ways in 2014, Jay took part in TV show The Wanted Life with bandmates Max George, Tom Parker, Siva Kaneswaran and Nathan Sykes.
How Jay feels about taking part…
‘Before I was in the band I used to dance. I was basically like a contemporary boy. I did delve into the world of hip hop and that was a terrible mistake.
‘Five years of touring and not exercising ever has probably beaten a few bad habits back into me.’
Name: Helen George
Before winning her role on BBC series Call The Midwife, Helen trained at London’s Royal Academy Of Music.
She has experience of acting on the stage too, having been cast in The Woman In White soon after she graduated.
How Helen feels about taking part…
‘I’m really excited to be joining Strictly.
‘I know it’s going to be a challenge and if I’m honest I’m slightly terrified, but I can’t wait to get my tan and sequins on!’
Name: Ainsley Harriott
Ainsley has been showing the nation how to make delicious meals since he was named the resident cooking expert on Good Morning With Anne And Nick in 1992.
He went on to host shows including Ready Steady Cook and Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook.
Other programmes Ainsley has demonstrated his culinary ability on include Ainsley’s Barbecue Bible, Ainsley’s Meals In Minutes and Ainsley’s Big Cook Out.
How Ainsley feels about taking part…
‘I must admit that I do love to dance, but doing it in front of the nation is a whole different matter.
‘In my day job the only type of salsa I know about is the one in my recipes so I am looking forward to rising to the challenge, bring it on!’
Name: Kellie Bright
EastEnders fans will recognise Kellie as Mick Carter’s landlady wife Linda on the show.
Prior to setting up home in Albert Square, Kellie popped up in programmes such as Bad Girls, Holby City and The Catherine Tate Show.
How Kellie feels about taking part...
‘I’ve been working out. I’ve been trying to get fit and strong. I’m very excited.
‘I feel better actually, I do feel healthier. I haven’t really done any exercise since I had my little boy and he’s three and a half now… I haven’t been doing any dancing – there’s going to be plenty of time for that.’
Name: Daniel O’Donnell
Irish star Daniel recorded his first record in 1983. By the mid 1990s, he’d found fame in the UK and performed on Top Of The Pops.
As a celebration of his success, the Daniel O’Donnell Visitors’ Centre opened in Dungloe in 2012.
How Daniel feels about taking part…
‘I can dance but don’t ask me to be in a certain place at a certain time so this is going to be very challenging for me.
‘I’ll be very hard to tie down so God help whoever gets me.
‘It’s exciting and I think it’s quite an honour to be asked because there’s so many people who could be asked to do it and here I am and I’m looking forward to it.’
Name: Anita Rani
Occupation: TV presenter
In the early days of her career, Anita hosted Channel Five broadcasts like Party In The Park and Pop City Life.
More recently, Anita has presented Channel 4’s Four Rooms and BBC’s Countryfile.
In 2012, Anita beat off competition from stars including Sarah Hadland and Angela Griffin to be crowned winner of the Great Sport Relief Bake Off.
How Anita feels about taking part…
‘When my mum first came from India to the UK, she’d watch the original series of Strictly and would dream of dancing and wearing those gorgeous dresses and now I’m able to realise her dream.’
Name: Jeremy Vine
Occupation: Radio host and journalist
Jeremy joined the BBC in 1987 after training to be a journalist with the Coventry Evening Telegraph.
Fast forward to 2007 and he was the host of current affairs series Panorama. In 2008 Jeremy was signed up for popular quiz show Eggheads.
How Jeremy feels about taking part…
‘They asked me and I just thought I just turned 50 this year I’ve got to start dancing properly. I can’t go into the dad dancing.’
Name: Katie Derham
Occupation: TV and radio presenter
After graduating from the University of Cambridge, Katie became the youngest newscaster on British TV since 1955.
She was just 27 at the time and had been appointed as ITN’s media and arts editor for ITV news.
Katie stayed at ITV until 2010 when she moved to the BBC where she started fronting coverage for the Proms.
How Katie feels about taking part…
‘I spend hours admiring professional musicians and performers at the Proms and at BBC Radio 3, so I’m thrilled to have the chance to throw myself into an equally demanding and beautiful world.
‘It will be a totally new experience for me and I can’t wait to get going.’
Occupation: Singer and TV presenter
Jamelia released her first single in 1999. Her most famous track is the 2003 hit Superstar.
The pretty star’s TV career kicked off in 2012 when she enjoyed a stint as a coach on The Voice Of Ireland.
She bagged a role as a regular panellist on Loose Women in 2013.
How Jamelia feels about taking part…
‘I worked with a choreographer for my pop videos but it’s a lot of smoke and mirrors.
‘I wouldn’t rate myself highly, I am not the most confident of dancers but I love dancing and if dancing in my kitchen counts I’m very, very experienced!
‘My biggest challenge is going to be learning the routines.’