Strictly Come Dancing 2011: who will be on the dancefloor?

Strictly Come Dancing is back with another batch of famous faces aiming to waltz, foxtrot and salsa their way into our hearts September is upon us, the nights are drawing in, and the X Factor is in full swing – it’s time to dust off Bruce Forsyth and let Tess Daly’s cleavage spill forth in HD for a new series of Strictly Come Dancing!


Series nine kicks off on BBC1 this Saturday, with a new batch of celebs warming up their rictus grins and attempting to waltz, foxtrot and salsa their way into the nation’s living rooms.

So who’s tripping the light fantastic this year? The celebrities will be unveiled on the One Show on Tuesday night, but according to reports in the Sun, this year will bring the usual mix of soap has-beens, TV actors of yesteryear, sports stars and daytime TV randoms. Surprisingly, I’ve heard of all but two of the starting 14 celebs; a significant improvement on previous years. Either I’m becoming more celebrity aware, or they’ve raided the 1980s and 90s in a big way.

As ever, Strictly has something for the whole family. According to reports former Neighbours-turned-popstars Jason Donovan and Holly Valance will take to the floor, along with pop legend Lulu and former Sven-squeeze Nancy Dell’Olio. In addition, vintage Eastender Anita Dobson, impressionist Rory Bremner and camptastic astronomer Russell Grant are all reportedly taking part – with the involvement of Alex Jones from the One Show and Dan Lobb from Daybreak ensuring they have something to talk about on their respective shows until Christmas.

Actress Chelsea Healey (Waterloo Road, apparently), and Harry Judd from boyband McFly are there for younger viewers – you may remember Harry dancing with Ola Jordan for Children in Need last year; clearly he became quite attached to the spandex vest and is back for more. Meanwhile sport is represented by footballer Robbie Savage and boxer Audley Harrison, which just leaves Edwina Currie to wave the Ann Widdecombe flag for politicians of yesteryear.

So which of this motley crew could prove to be a star turn? My money’s on Holly Valance – if you watch her perform her 2002 hit Kiss Kiss (yes, I know), she definitely has some hip action going on. I’m less sure about Jason Donovan’s moves – check out the awkward jigging in this Top of The Pops performance from 1989 if you can bear it. Perhaps Lulu will be this year’s Pamela Stephenson – she’s giving it her all in this performance with Take That in 1993, although in fairness she is standing next to Gary Barlow, who could probably make Jason Donovan look like Anton Du Beke.

I’m most looking forward to Audley Harrison. At 6’5″ and 18 stone he’ll either be a graceful giant or a lumbering disaster, but at least he shouldn’t have any problems with the lifts. I’m also intrigued to see whether Nancy Dell’Olio has dancefloor poise – her fondness for sequins, of course, is already well documented – and to witness Anita Dobson’s hair in motion as the camera cuts to matching husband Brian May in the audience.

So what do you think of this potential lineup compared to that of previous years – are you already feeling nostalgic for Matt Baker and Anne Widdecombe? Are you looking forward to the new series, or do you think Strictly is running out of steam?

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