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31/07/2019 19:15 BST | Updated 01/08/2019 09:51 BST

Strictly Line-Up 2019: David James, Chris Ramsey And Emma Barton Announced As First Contestants

There's only just over a month to go until the new series kicks off

Love Island may only just have finished but Strictly Come Dancing bosses have reminded us all that Christmas is just around the corner with the first reveal of this year’s line-up. 

Former England goalkeeper David James, comedian Chris Ramsey and EastEnders star Emma Barton have been confirmed as three of the celebrities taking part on the BBC ballroom show. 

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David James

The trio were revealed as the first contestants of the upcoming series on Wednesday night’s episode of The One Show

David said: “I’m really excited to be on Strictly this year. Not just competing against this year’s stars, but being compared to previous sport stars from previous Strictly seasons. I have some big shoes to fill, #LetsGetLive.”

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Chris Ramsey

Chris said: “I’m both excited and absolutely terrified to be doing the show. You will not find me on the dance floor at parties, you will find me at the buffet table. All night.

“At my wedding I danced with my wife; that one song took about six months practice, and I definitely stood on her feet a couple of times. So I’m looking forward to the possibility of making a fool of myself in front of millions of people… there better be a buffet after the live shows.”

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Emma Barton

Emma, who is best known as Walford’s Honey Mitchell, added: “As possibly one of the biggest Strictly fans on the planet, I still can’t believe this is happening.

“I’m very much a dance around your handbag kinda girl, but now I’ve been given this wonderful opportunity to learn all the different styles of dancing from the very best in the business. So, I’m whipping off Honey’s Minute Mart tabard & diving right in to all the glitter & sparkle. From Albert Square to the Strictly dance floor - I just can’t wait!”

BBC
The trio were announced on Wednesday's The One Show

Other names will be announced over the coming weeks, but those who have been linked to the show include RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Michelle Visage, TV presenter Fearne Cotton, comedian Alan Carr and former Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley.

This series of Strictly Come Dancing will also see a number of changes. 

Following the departure of Darcey Bussell, there will be a new judge on the panel in the form of Motsi Mabuse

BBC
Motsi Mabuse is joining the show as a judge

She is the sister of current Strictly pro Oti Mabuse, and will be sitting alongside Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli

As announced earlier this week, new dancer Nancy Xu will be joining the professional line-up for the new series. 

Nancy is technically replacing Pasha Kovalev, who announced his decision to step down from the show earlier this year. 

BBC
Nancy Xu is the show's newest professional dancer

However, bosses have confirmed to HuffPost that she won’t be paired up with a celebrity and will instead join Neil Jones, Luba Mushtuk and Johannes Radebe, by becoming a pro who works on the group dances. 

It remains to be seen whether this means Neil will be promoted to having a celebrity partner after three years of sitting on the subs bench. 

Elsewhere, Rylan Clark-Neal will also be joining Zoe Ball as a presenter on nightly spin-off series It Takes Two. 

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One in the autumn.

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