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Strictly Come Dancing 2017: Chef Simon Rimmer signs up

TV presenter and chef Simon Rimmer is the latest contestant announced for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.

He said: “I am so excited, terrified and proud to be invited… Nobody will try harder, have more fun or get more out of it than me. I can’t wait.”

So far, one celebrity has been revealed per day for the new series of Strictly, which begins on BBC One in September.

Tess and Claudia will return to host, but it will be the first series without Len Goodman on the judging panel.

Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood will instead be joined by international ballroom champion Shirley Ballas.

Here’s a rundown of the contestants who have been confirmed so far for the 15th series:


Strictly: Class of 2017

Chef Simon Rimmer revealed he will be a Strictly contestant during his Sunday morning Channel 4 show, Sunday Brunch, which he co-hosts with Tim Lovejoy.

He said he had “never danced in my life”, and joked that he had lost all co-ordination between the top half and bottom half of his body since becoming a father.

Rimmer, 54, has also appeared on the BBC’s Great British Menu. The food writer also owns nine restaurants.


Scottish actor Joe McFadden is probably best known for playing the role of Raf di Lucca in Holby City.

His first TV role was in the STV soap Take The High Road before starring in The Crow Road, based on the book by Iain Banks.

He major breakthrough came when he played PC Joe Mason in Heartbeat for two series.

He has also taken on theatre work in stage productions as diverse as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Rent and Rainbow Kiss.


Writer and broadcaster The Reverend Richard Coles is the only UK vicar to have had a chart-topping single – and now he’s the first one to star on Strictly.

He told BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans Breakfast Show: “A major dance talent was waiting to be discovered. I just wonder what took them so long. I’m in it to wing it, as they say.”

Coles, who had hits with Jimmy Somerville in The Communards including Don’t Leave Me This Way, said he had a “comprehensive briefing” from former Strictly star Ed Balls as part of his preparations for the show – and has also “cut down on pork pies”.

But he said he might not be able to take part in the Strictly live tour, as it clashes with Epiphany.

He hosts BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live and is a contributor to Pause for Thought on Chris Evans’ show – as well as being vicar of St Mary’s Church in Finedon, Northamptonshire.


Former glamour model Gemma Atkinson currently co-hosts Manchester radio station Key 103’s breakfast show – which she will continue to present during Strictly training.

Her acting credits include roles in Casualty, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks.

“I’m beyond excited and incredibly nervous, but looking forward to learning a new skill,” she said of joining this year’s Strictly.


TV presenter Ruth Langsford is often seen hosting This Morning (when Phil and Holly are away) alongside her husband Eamonn Holmes.

Ruth said: “The sum of my dance experience is throwing a few shapes at a party, I’ve never had a dance lesson in my life.”

“Without doubt, [Strictly] will be the scariest yet most exciting thing I’ve ever done.”


EastEnders actor Davood Ghadami, who has played Kush Kazemi in the soap since 2014, said it was “such an honour” to be joining the dancing show.

“It’s going to be exciting, challenging and terrifying all at once and I am so looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone and learning to dance,” he added.


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Mollie King was the first contestant to be unveiled for this year’s series.

The Saturdays singer told Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw (above) she was “so excited” and always watched the show with her family, adding that she “can’t wait to get into the sequins”.


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