Back in January, rumours began circulating that Zoe Ball was going to step down as host of Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two after eight years. But now, not only has it been confirmed that she’s staying put, she’s also announced that Rylan Clark-Neal will be joining her to present the sister show too.
The DJ revealed the news on her BBC Radio 2 breakfast show on 18 April, where she called in former X Factor contestant and regular This Morning stand-in Clark-Neal as a surprise guest.
Reacting to his new gig on air, he said: “I can’t begin to explain how excited I am to be joining the Strictly family.
“I’ve always been a massive fan of ‘It Takes Two’ and to be working with the amazing Zoe Ball is a dream.”
The 30-year-old went on to say that he’s “honoured to be joining such a television institution” and that he’s particularly looking forward to bringing “a lot of mischief to the ‘Strictly’ bubble.”
Ant and Dec, Holly and Phil, Keith and Orville… now there’s Rylan & Ball. Is the world ready for this pairing?? Welcome to the strictly ITT fam baby. Excited.💃🏻✨ Thanks for all the love and reaction to the news this morning tweeples. Off for an emergency dentist deep clean…. https://t.co/32sNIABLXT
— Zoe Ball (@ZoeTheBall) April 18, 2019
Ball, who replaced Claudia Winkleman on It Takes Two back in 2011, added: “I adore Rylan, he’s an absolute wonder, I love his daftness and naughtiness and he’s a brilliant live telly host.
“He’ll fit right into our ‘It Takes Two’ family. Can’t wait for this new season to start, it’s going be a hoot!”
She later jokingly tweeted that she was “Off for an emergency dentist deep clean….” in preparation for his arrival.
Shortly after Ball made Clark-Neal’s hiring public, Strictly Come Dancing‘s official Twitter account shared the news on social media.
— BBC Strictly ✨ (@bbcstrictly) April 18, 2019
Interestingly, the news that Clark-Neal will soon be joining the show comes just days after the Celebrity Big Brother winner candidly told Digital Spy that he wouldn’t be keen on being a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing as he’d likely break “every bone” in his body.
“It’s a time thing,” he explained. “I would love nothing more than to become a professional ice skater but I would rather do it privately. Do some private lessons then do it!
“I’ve been so lucky to have the career that I’ve had in reality TV and I will never forget where I came from, and that’s why I’m a massive supporter of reality TV. But I enjoy hosting too much, or it would take a lot of money.”