'EastEnders' star Nina Wadia signs up for 'Strictly'

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - Nina Wadia  (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - Nina Wadia (BBC)

EastEnders star Nina Wadia has joined Strictly Come Dancing 2021.

The news was announced on ITV’s Lorraine.

The actor, 52, joked that she wanted to try the BBC ballroom contest before she got too old and couldn’t walk.

Read more: Every Strictly 2021 contestant so far

Saying it had been a tough year, she said: “I just want to grab life by the balls and just enjoy it!”

“I don’t mind if people even laugh at me, I just want people to laugh and enjoy and be happy,” she added.

Wadia — best known as Zainab Masood in the BBC soap — joked that she tends to dance like nobody is watching so could do well if the judges wear blindfolds.

Read more: Strictly promises full-length series in 2021 but says no return to Blackpool due to COVID

She joins Greg Wise, Tilly Ramsay, Dan Walker, Katie McGlynn, Rhys Stephenson, Sara Davies, John Whaite, Robert Webb, AJ Odudu and Tom Fletcher on the dancefloor.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 27: Nina Wadia reads during  the UK Holocaust Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony in Westminster on January 27, 2020 in London, England. 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Holocaust memorial day takes place annually on the 27th of January, remembering the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and honoring survivors of the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution, and subsequent genocides in Bosnia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Nina Wadia (Getty Images)

The show was cut short last year amid the coronavirus pandemic, from 13 weeks to just nine. This led to the cancellation of both the popular Halloween Week and the annual trip to Blackpool's famous Tower Ballroom.

Bosses have promised fans a full-length series this year but said the show will not be able to return to Blackpool.

Watch: Who are the 2021 Strictly Come Dancing celebrities?