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‘Strictly Come Dancing’: Paralympian Ellie Simmonds ‘At Top Of Producers’ Wish List For Next Series’

'She is the number one choice by a country mile.'

14/12/2016 07:29 GMT

This year’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ final hasn’t even taken place yet, but show bosses are already compiling their wish list of celebs they want for next year’s series.

And top of that list, according to reports, is Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds.

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Ellie Simmonds

The quintuple gold medalist was in the audience to watch Saturday night’s semi-final, and it has since been revealed that she was invited along to ‘get a feel for the show’.

A source told The Mirror: “They wanted to introduce her to the Strictly family and for her to get a feel for the place and the programme.

“By all accounts she had a fabulous time. It’s early days but we would love her next year. She is our number one choice by a country mile.”

The 22-year-old, who has achondroplasia, won two gold medals in Beijing aged just 13. She then went on to win two golds, a silver and a bronze at London 2012, and returned from this summer’s Paralympics in Rio with her fifth gold and second bronze.

Peter Nicholls / Reuters

The BBC’s director-general Lord Hall said in 2014 it was “vital” the corporation better reflects the make up of the nation.

Disabled actors, presenters and on-air guests currently account for just 1.2% of those who appear on the channel, but the target is to increase this to 5% by next year.

The source added: “Having a disabled star on a prime time show like Strictly is the most positive message you can send.”

At 4ft 1in, Ellie would be the shortest contestant in the history of ‘Strictly’, but insiders say her height would not be a problem.

If she does appear, she will be fulfilling a dream after recently declaring herself a ‘Strictly’ superfan.

During an appearance on ‘It Takes Two’ earlier this year, she told host Zoe Ball that she “loved” the show.

The ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ grand final is on BBC One on this Saturday at 6.40pm.

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