Rev Richard Coles

Pop star turned vicar The Reverend Richard Coles is the latest contestant to sign up for Strictly Come Dancing.

The former Communards keyboard player said: “Cometh the hour, cometh the overweight vicar with arthritis in his knees.”

So far, one celebrity has been revealed per day for the new series of Strictly, which begins on BBC One in September.

Tess and Claudia will return to host, but it will be the first series without Len Goodman on the judging panel.

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Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly will be returning to present this year’s series

Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood will instead be joined by international ballroom champion Shirley Ballas.

Here’s a rundown of the contestants who have been confirmed for this series so far:


Strictly: Class of 2017

Writer and broadcaster The Reverend Richard Coles is the only UK vicar to have had a chart-topping single – and now he’s the first one to star on Strictly.

He told BBC Radio 2′s Chris Evans Breakfast Show: “A major dance talent was waiting to be discovered. I just wonder what took them so long. I’m in it to wing it, as they say.”

Coles, who had hits with Jimmy Somerville in The Communards including Don’t Leave Me This Way, said he had a “comprehensive briefing” from former Strictly star Ed Balls as part of his preparations for the show – and has also “cut down on pork pies”.

But he said he might not be able to take part in the Strictly live tour, as it clashes with Epiphany.

He hosts BBC Radio 4′s Saturday Live and is a contributor to Pause for Thought on Chris Evans’ show – as well as being vicar of St Mary’s Church in Finedon, Northamptonshire.


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Former glamour model Gemma Atkinson currently co-hosts Manchester radio station Key 103′s breakfast show – which she will continue to present during Strictly training.

Her acting credits include roles in Casualty, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks.

“I’m beyond excited and incredibly nervous, but looking forward to learning a new skill,” she said of joining this year’s Strictly.


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TV presenter Ruth Langsford is often seen hosting This Morning (when Phil and Holly are away) alongside her husband Eamonn Holmes.

Ruth said: “The sum of my dance experience is throwing a few shapes at a party, I’ve never had a dance lesson in my life.”

“Without doubt, [Strictly] will be the scariest yet most exciting thing I’ve ever done.”


EastEnders actor Davood Ghadami, who has played Kush Kazemi in the soap since 2014, said it was “such an honour” to be joining the dancing show.

“It’s going to be exciting, challenging and terrifying all at once and I am so looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone and learning to dance,” he added.


Media captionMollie King is the first contestant to be announced for 2017′s Strictly Come Dancing.

Mollie King was the first contestant to be unveiled for this year’s series.

The Saturdays singer told Radio 1′s Nick Grimshaw (above) she was “so excited” and always watched the show with her family, adding that she “can’t wait to get into the sequins”.


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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-40874025

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