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13/08/2018 08:20 BST | Updated 14/08/2018 14:10 BST

‘Strictly Come Dancing’: Katie Piper Announced As First Celeb Taking Part In 2018 Series

And we're off!

Katie Piper will be taking to the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ dance floor later this year, it has been announced.

The model, TV presenter and campaigner is the first star to be officially confirmed for the new series, after being revealed on ‘BBC Breakfast’ on Monday morning (13 August).

Samir Hussein via Getty Images
Katie Piper

A second celebrity will be announced during tonight’s ‘The One Show’, with the rest of the ‘Strictly’ class of 2018 being revealed over the next two weeks.

Katie said: “It’s been so hard to keep secret. I’ve known for quite a while.”

When she was asked if it had been a hard decision to join the show, Katie said: “For me it’s really out of my comfort zone. It’s not something I’ve ever done before. Will I be the first to go home? Will I be dreadful? The only person i told was my husband and he just thought I was joking!”

She added: “I feel so privileged and excited to be part of my favourite show on TV. I already know how much of an amazing experience it will be for me and I can’t wait to show my girls some of my new dance moves. I’m nervous to put on my dancing shoes but can’t wait to learn a new skill and have the Strictly tan and makeover!”

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will be back on presenting duties for the new series and on Sunday the pair teased who would be taking part in a new Instagram video.

The clip shows the pair reading from a folder emblazoned with the words: “Strictly Celebrities 2018 Confidential.”

For reasons only known to themselves, the two presenters revealed the contestants’ code names are cheeses.

The caption to the video reads: “We’ve got some grate celebs in store for #Strictly 2018… you’d feta brie-lieve it?”

A post shared by BBC Strictly (@bbcstrictly) on

There’s still no official word on when the 16th series of the BBC dance show will kick off, but if the dates follow the same pattern as 2017, we should expect ‘Strictly’ to launch on Saturday 8 September, before the first live show starts on Saturday 22 September.

It is highly likely the judging panel will remain the same as last year, which saw new Head Judge Shirley Ballas join Craig Revel-Horwood, Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli on the panel, replacing Len Goodman who stepped down in 2016.

Other celebs rumoured to be taking to the dancefloor include Radio 1 presenter Maya Jama, former ‘EastEnders’ actress Samantha Womack, ‘Great British Bake Off’ winner Nadiya Hussain, Good Morning Britain’s Piers Morgan, 90’s TV star Anneka Rice and Capital Radio host Vick Hope.

We’ll be bringing you all of the ‘Strictly’ reveals as they happen, so keep checking back this week.

  • Gemma Collins
    Gemma Collins
    Samir Hussein via Getty Images
    Joey isn’t the only ‘TOWIE’ star to be linked to the new series. Gemma Collins’ approach to getting on the show was to threaten not to sue the BBC after she fell through the floor at last year’s Radio 1 Teen Awards if she was given a spot on ‘Strictly’.

    But judge Craig Revel Horwood isn’t convinced, insisting the GC isn’t the right “calibre” for ‘Strictly’. But Gemma remained unrepentant, telling OK! Magazine: "I'll burst onto that dance floor and show them what a samba is! He won't know what's hit him."
  • Piers Morgan
    Piers Morgan
    Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment
    The ‘Good Morning Britain’ presenter could be following in his colleague Susanna Reid’s footsteps after he tweeted a snap of him dancing with former contender and Labour MP Ed Balls. He captioned the shot: "BREAKING: My #Strictly training has begun."

    His nemesis Lord Sugar upped the stakes when he offered to donate £25,000 to charity if Piers does take part, and an additional £25,000 if he gets past week five.
  • Dan Walker
    Dan Walker
    PA Archive/PA Images
    Piers further fuelled rumours that he’d be taking to the ‘Strictly’ dance floor after his BBC Breakfast rival Dan Walker was linked to the new series. Piers said: “I would seriously consider [Strictly] if it meant giving Walker a lesson in how to dance in front of nine million people.”
  • Michelle Keegan
    Michelle Keegan
    Samir Hussein via Getty Images
    ‘Strictly’ did wonders for Michelle’s husband Mark Wright’s profile when he made the 2014 final. The former ‘Corrie’ star and ‘Our Girl’ actress has been rumoured to be at the top of ‘Strictly’ bosses’ wish-list for the last few years, so will we finally see her take to the dance floor in 2018?
  • Les Dennis
    Les Dennis
    Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment
    The former ‘Coronation Street’ actor has hinted on more than one occasion that he’d love to appear on ‘Strictly’. During an appearance on ‘Sunday Brunch’ he said: “When I was doing Coronation Street I was approached but we weren't allowed to do it, we had a policy. I wouldn't mind doing it, I always like a challenge."

    He reiterated his interest during an appearance on ‘This Morning’ earlier this year, saying: "I would love to do it. Yes please. Ice skating, well maybe…that's more scary. But who knows.”
  • Nadiya Hussain
    Nadiya Hussain
    HGL via Getty Images
    The ‘Bake Off’ champ is a big fan of 'Strictly' and after being invited to watch one of the live shows last year, BBC bosses reportedly made no secret of how much they’d love Nadiya to appear on the new series.
  • Holly Willoughby
    Holly Willoughby
    PA Wire/PA Images
    The ‘This Morning’ presenter is a self-confessed ‘Strictly’ superfan, admitting that she’d “love” to learn some new moves on the 'Strictly' dancefloor. She admitted: "I'm obsessed with Strictly, so I'd love to learn to dance." 
  • Cheryl
    Cheryl
    Empics Entertainment
    We can’t help but think this is a serious case of wishful thinking, mainly on behalf of head judge Shirley Ballas who has stated she would love to see Chezza strutting her stuff. "I think Cheryl Cole would be amazing,” she said. So do we Shirl, but we reckon there’s more chance of Girls Aloud getting back together.