The new series of Strictly Come Dancing may still be a long way off yet, but rumours about who will be taking part are already in full swing.
A number of famous faces have been listed as potential contestants in the press, ahead of the 19th series of the hit BBC ballroom show.
It’s been reported that bosses are hoping to stage the series as normal – including a studio audience, the return of Strictly’s Blackpool special and a full 13-week competition – after the pandemic forced a number of changes the the regular proceedings in 2020.
As excitement for that possibility builds, let’s take a closer look at all the names currently in the mix for Strictly 2021...
The actor has been propelled to new levels of fame after taking a central role in the most recent series of Line Of Duty as bad cop and organised crime group member Ryan Pilkington.
According to The Sun, his name is on a shortlist of stars bosses are hoping to sign up for the new series of Strictly, with the tabloid claiming he would be a “dream signing”.
The Gogglebox star recently announced his departure from the hit Channel 4 show after deciding to “explore new opportunities”.
Tom has plenty of dance credentials, as he has been a professional break dancer since he was 14, and even appeared in a Strictly opening number as one of the B-Boys.
He recently told the Daily Express he would “love” to do Strictly, saying: “If the opportunity came up to go on Strictly as a contestant, I’ve never done Ballroom in my life, so it’d be interesting to see how as someone who breaks, I’m used to dancing upside down, how those two worlds could come together.
“And, how I could use skills from breaking in Ballroom or if there is even anything you can use from breaking in Ballroom.”
If he does end up taking part, Tom would make history as the first Goggleboxer to ever appear on the Strictly dance floor.
It was recently reported Strictly bosses were hoping to secure a high-profile name who has aided the nation through the coronavirus crisis for the new series.
According to The Sun, Chris, who is the Chief Medical Adviser to the UK Government, was “top of the list”.
Chris’ colleague JVT was previously linked to a role on Strictly, but appeared to rule himself out during an interview with ITV News earlier this year.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer said: “I think it would be rather like watching Jumbo [the elephant] on ice. But I don’t want to spoil the bookmakers’ books, so I’ll say no more than that.”
However, he has the backing of professional dancer Janette Manrara, who told Channel 5′s Jeremy Vine: “If we had Ed Balls, we’ve had Ann Widdecombe, then why not? Bring him on.
“It comes down to height and styles. I feel like he could be really good in ballroom because he’s quite elegant.”
The Good Morning Britain presenter became one of the most-talked about figures of the year when he stood up to Piers Morgan on the ITV breakfast show in March.
The Sun later claimed BBC bosses were keen to sign Alex – who competed on Dancing On Ice in 2018 – up for Strictly, with the presenter later addressing the rumours on Twitter.
“Do I need to brush up on my 2 step and shuffle?” he tweeted.
Alex’s fellow GMB star Laura has also been rumoured for the upcoming series, with The Sun reporting that both of their names were “in the mix”.
Strictly has a long history of casting political figures past and present, and this year it looks like they are courting the former Commons speaker for the new series.
The Sun claimed bosses had approached him about taking part in the past, but are keen to convince him to say yes this year.
Maya’s name has long been attached to Strictly Come Dancing, and last year she revealed she’d turned the show down on a number of occasions in the past.
However, in an interview with Hello! magazine, the former Radio 1 DJ admitted she “loves a dance” and “wouldn’t say no forever”, so could 2021 be her year?
Martin and Roman Kemp
The Spandau Ballet musician recently revealed he’s keen to take part in Strictly, telling The Jonathan Ross Show: “I think it’s one of the best shows on television, I absolutely love it.
“Would I do it? Maybe, but I’d only last one round. My knees are so bad. I’m sure I’d be out first round.”
His son Roman was less keen after previously auditioning, with the Capital Radio DJ saying: “I would like to do it, they did ask me. I ended up going, it’s like an audition… if I’m totally honest, I had a great time, but it’s too much effort. It’s so hard. It’s so hard.”
We’ve already seen YouTubers like Joe Sugg and Saffron Barker pave the way for a different kind of celebrity on Strictly, and the show’s star booker recently revealed she is now looking at TikTok as a hunting ground for potential contestants.
Talent executive Stefania Aleksander told The Mirror: “In order to do my job is just knowing a broad range of celebrities. It’s not just about actors, actresses.
“In order to entertain all genres, it’s about investing some time in learning about them.
“Social media is a whole world that I immersed myself into to learn about.”