BBC Strictly Come Dancing lines up first blind celebrity for 2024 show

Strictly Come Dancing contestant Karim Zeroual has announced his partner Yazminn Greene has given birth to their daughter
-Credit: (Image: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing is reportedly set to welcome its first ever blind contestant. BBC bosses are believed to have secured a deal with comedian Chris McCausland, who is gearing up to strut his stuff in the upcoming series later this year.

The signing of Chris follows the triumphant run of deaf Eastenders star Rose Ayling-Ellis in 2021, who won the dancing competition with Giovanni Pernice. Chris is also known to TV viewers as Rudi in the CBeebies show Me Too! and for his Channel 4 travel documentary Wonders of the World I Can't See.

Chris, 46, lost his sight 24 years ago due to a hereditary condition known as retinitis pigmentosa. The Liverpool-born star, who is married to Patricia and father to 10 year old daughter Sophie, has never shied away from discussing his loss of sight and the "painful" reality of becoming blind at just 22.

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Speaking in an interview before his appearance on Channel 4's Scared Of The Dark last year, he opened up about his perception of the world. He remarked: "I'm blind but I don't see black.

"I still see light and space, I still have an awareness of the space around me, not in terms of objects and things, but in terms of the room and whether there might be something in front of me.

Comedian Chris McCausland at ITV's Royal Variety Performance
Comedian Chris McCausland at ITV's Royal Variety Performance -Credit:ITV

"It just gives you that awareness that you're taking that away from me. I'm a slave to my iPhone like everybody else. So on paper you go, 'Well, I should nail this,' but in one area I should be more practically adjusted."

A source disclosed to The Sun about the new addition: " Strictly Come Dancing bosses are delighted by the signing and think Chris will be great on the show. He has a hilarious sense of humour and an infectious personality.

"Producers are really keen to showcase disability on TV and are conscious of how important it is. Chris loves working and doing TV so it's the perfect project. Chris has spoken openly of his sight issues and is determined to show it won't hold him back on the ballroom dance floor."