ENTERTAINMENT
05/08/2021 10:49 BST | Updated 14/08/2021 17:21 BST

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 Line Up: Meet All 15 Contestants Taking Part In This Year’s Series

The new series of the BBC ballroom show is all set and ready to go.

With a new series of Strictly Come Dancing just around the corner, it’s time to find out who will be taking to the floor this year. 

All fifteen of this year’s celebrity contestants have now been announced and the 2021 series looks set to be one of the best yet.

Get to know this year’s dancing stars a bit better below...

Tom Fletcher

BBC

Known for: Tom is a lead vocalist and guitarist in McFly. He is also a children’s writer, with books including The Christmasaurus, The Creakers and There’s a Monster in Your Book.

He says: “I think the fact that I’m actually going to be dancing on Strictly this year has only just started to sink in while I’m writing this! I’m incredibly excited, of course, but also totally terrified!

“My kids were excited too until I started showing them my best dad-dancing in the kitchen. I’m not sure how far they’ll get me in the competition but I can’t wait to add some new moves to my embarrassing dad-dancing repertoire.”

Bonus fact: His band mate Harry Judd won Strictly in 2011 and Tom is also married to I’m A Celebrity 2020 champ Giovanna Fletcher

Robert Webb

BBC

Known for: Robert had starring roles in Peep Show, That Mitchell and Webb Look and Back, and his famed for his comedy partnership with David Mitchell

He says: “I am ludicrously excited to be taking part in Strictly this year. It’s a big, generous, joyful show and I can’t wait to get packed into a spandex onesie and fired from a glitter cannon directly at Claudia Winkleman. At least I think that’s what happens.

“My goal is to try and survive from week to week without causing serious injury to myself or innocent bystanders. I know it’s going to be a challenge. To do well in this competition is a test of character, although mainly it’s a test of dancing.”

Bonus fact: This isn’t Robert’s fist brush with a TV dance competition – he previously won Let’s Dance For Comic Relief in 2009 with his routine to Flashdance... What A Feeling. 

AJ Odudu

BBC

Known for: TV presenter AJ has hosted shows including Big Brother’s Bit On The Side, Don’t Rock The Boat and Apocalypse Wow. 

She says:I am beyond chuffed that I am going to be on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing and I’m so glad I can finally tell my mum. Her face will be a picture, she’s going to be over the moon!

“I absolutely love the show and am fully committed to making the most of every second of the Strictly experience. Bring it on!”

Bonus fact: During a recent appearance on Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel, AJ set a record for the most times the wheel has landed on a celebrity. 

John Whaite

BBC

Known for: John won the third series of The Great British Bake Off in 2012. He is now a regular on Channel 4′s Steph’s Packed Lunch and has published five cookery books as well as running his own cookery school.

He says: “I’m so grateful, excited, and nervous to be joining the Strictly 2021 family. I’ve been wearing sequins and jazzy attire since I was three years old and can’t wait to hurl myself, full throttle, around the most glamorous dance floor on earth.

“What’s more exciting for me, is that I’m going to be one half of the first all-male partnership, which is a great step forward in representation and inclusion. Whoever it is I’m paired with, I hope they are up for a challenge as I want our routines to include lots of spectacular lifts!”

Bonus fact: John has a little bit of dance experience having done ballet and tap as a child.  

Rhys Stephenson

BBC

Known for: Presenting a range of TV shows, including CBBC. 

He says: “I am BUZZING to be a part of Strictly Come Dancing 2021. I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation. I cannot wait to experience it all: the costumes, the orchestra, even Craig’s glare! I am READY!”

Bonus fact: As well his work on television, Rhys is the ambassador for Place2Be, a charity which aims to help provide mental health services in UK schools.

Sara Davies

BBC
Sara in her Strictly press shot

Known for: Founding the supply company Crafters’ Companion, and appearing as a panellist on Dragon’s Den.

She says: “I’m really nervous because so far the producers keep asking me if I can dance. Truth be told – I haven’t got a clue! I’ve not danced since I did ballet lessons when I was little.

“The business world has taught me that tenacity, drive and determination deliver results, I hope that I can bring that to the dance floor. And I’m excited to see the impact of all those hours of training on my mum tum!”

Bonus fact: Sara made history when she joined Dragon’s Den in 2019, as the show’s youngest ever business expert.

Katie McGlynn

BBC

Known for: Her Bafta-nominated performance as Sinead Tinker in Coronation Street.

She says: “It’s been so hard keeping it a secret, but I can finally say that I’m getting ready to shake my shimmy and become part of the Strictly family!

“I’m really not a dancer, but I’m so excited to learn a new skill on this crazy journey and cannot wait to slip into some sequins along the way. Although I do get to have so much fun as an actress, a lot of my roles have involved quite serious and challenging storylines, so I’m fully ready to let my hair down and do something different, even if it is completely outside of my comfort zone.

“I can’t promise that I’ll be the best, but I’m going to give it 110% on the dance floor! As long as I don’t fall over I’ll be happy.”

Bonus fact: Katie has been rumoured for Strictly (and various other reality shows!) since before she even left Coronation Street, so her appearance on this year’s series is a long time coming.

Dan Walker

BBC

Known for: Presenting BBC Breakfast and Football Focus

He says: “I am definitely excited, a little bit worried, mostly terrified and a small part of me is considering going into hiding!

“My kids have only ever asked me to go on two shows… Saturday Mash Up and Strictly. I did Saturday Mash Up this summer so… it’s time to embrace the sequins.”

Bonus fact: Dan follows in the footsteps of a number of his BBC Breakfast colleagues in taking part in Strictly, including Naga Munchetty, Carol Kirkwood and Mike Bushell.

Greg Wise

Samir Hussein via Getty Images
Greg Wise

Known for: Being an actor in the likes of The Crown and Sense And Sensibility 

He says: “My beautiful sister was a huge disco queen. She left our world almost exactly five years ago in a glitter ball coffin. This is for her. My gorgeous Diva sis, who would have been insane with excitement that her little bro was doing this.

“I will channel her, as her bro can’t dance – but I’m thrilled to be dipping my toes, knees, hips and arms into this wonderful world, and hope to make her proud, and obviously make her laugh...”

Bonus fact: Greg is married to acting royalty Emma Thompson.

Matilda Ramsay

ITV
Tilly Ramsay

Known for: Being social media star, chef and daughter of Gordon Ramsay

She says: “I’m so excited and grateful to be joining the Strictly family! I’m always up for fun new challenges and this will be my biggest adventure yet.”

Bonus fact: Tilly is perhaps best known for her TikTok content, where she has more than 9.5 million followers and often posts clips of herself and her father.

She also previously hosted her own cooking show on CBBC, and has presented segments on This Morning in the past. 

Nina Wadia

BBC
Nina Wadia

Known for: Acting, with credits including Goodness Gracious Me, Still Open All Hours and playing Zainab Masood in EastEnders.

She says: “I’ve always danced like nobody’s watching, so if we blindfold the judges I could actually win Strictly 2021.”

Bonus fact: Earlier this year, Nina received an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours, for her services to charity and entertainment.

Rose Ayling-Ellis

BBC
Rose Ayling-Ellis

Known for: Playing Frankie Lewis in EastEnders

She says: “To be the first deaf contestant on Strictly Come Dancing is sooooo exciting... and a little bit scary. It is the hardest secret I have ever had to keep so it feels amazing to finally have this out in the open.

“I hope I will do the deaf community proud and break down more barriers. But I am also very excited to learn an incredible new skill and even better I get to learn whilst wearing beautiful dresses made especially for me.”

Bonus fact: She appears in The Vamps music video for Middle of the Night.

Adam Peaty

Karl Bridgeman via Getty Images
Adam Peaty

Known for: Being one of the biggest names in world swimming 

He says: “I’m really looking forward to doing something totally different and challenging myself away from the pool. I’m hoping my competitive nature is going to compensate for my dancing abilities.”

Bonus fact: As well as his three gold and two silver Olympic medals, he is an eight-time World Champion, a sixteen-time European Champion, a three-time Commonwealth Champion and the holder of the world record in 50 metre and 100 metre breaststroke events.

Judi Love

Michael Tubi via Getty Images
Judi Love

Known for: Being a firm favourite on the stand-up circuit, as well as being a regular Loose Women panellist

She says: “I’m truly looking forward to pushing myself in something that I could have only dreamed of doing and now it’s actually coming true! I can’t lie I’m  soooo nervous but excited at the same time.”

Bonus fact: Judi is also known for producing a host of viral online comedy sketches, amassing a huge following on social media.

Ugo Monye

David Rogers via Getty Images
Ugo Monye

Known for: Playing rugby, first for Harlequins and then at a national level as part of the England squad.

He says: “What a dream come true! Strictly is the biggest entertainment show on TV and I can’t wait to show everyone I’ve got more than just dad dancing moves.

“My two beautiful daughters never had a chance to see me on the rugby pitch, so to know they can watch me waltzing and twirling every week is really special to me. I love an outfit at the best of times, so bring on the sequins.”

Bonus fact: Ugo is one of the new team captains on the all-new series of A Question of Sport.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One this autumn. 

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