Strictly Come Dancing 2019: Karim Zeroual and Emma Barton are joint favourites to win the glitterball trophy

Isobel Frodsham
The Strictly Come Dancing class of 2019: BBC/Kieron McCarron

EastEnders’ Emma Barton and CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual have been named as the bookies’ favourites to win this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.

The actress, 42, and presenter, 19, have been given a 9/2 odds by Betfair, ahead of the live show on Saturday night.

Barton has previously trod the boards in the West End and toured the UK as Roxie in Chicago.

She previously told Standard Online she hoped that experience would send her to victory.

Meanwhile Zeroual’s fellow contestants have described their admiration for the teenager’s moves in rehearsals, tipping him as someone who will go far in the competition.

Jazz hands: Emma Barton previously played Roxie in Chicago (PA)

Katie Baylis, spokeswoman for Betfair, said: “Ahead of the first show, punters on the Betfair Exchange can’t separate Karim Zeroual and Emma Barton who are the joint 9/2 favourites for the famous Glitter Ball this year.

"Despite coming in late, former Emmerdale star Kevin Fletcher is also fancied to do well at odds of 11/1, while England football legend Alex Scott is just behind at 13/2.

Twinkle toes: Karim Zeroual has been pipped for glory by his fellow contestants (PA)

“The biggest single bet we’ve seen so far however is on Catherine Tyldesley with one punter putting £360 on her to win, with her odds now 9/1.

“At the other end of the odds leaderboard it looks to be a battle between David James at 13/2, James Cracknell at 4/1 and Mike Bushell at 9/2 to be the first celeb to leave the ball room.

Raring to go: The contestants of this year's 2019 competition

“But like with previous seasons, we expect to see the odds moving around a lot after the first show as viewers and punters get their first proper look at the dancing skills or lack of, from this year’s contestants.”

See the odds in full below:

  • Karim Zeroual – 9/2
  • Emma Barton – 9/2
  • Kevin Fletcher – 11/2
  • Alex Scott – 13/2
  • Catherine Tyldesley – 9/1
  • Saffron Baker – 11/1
  • Emma Weymouth – 18/1
  • Dev Griffin – 21/1
  • Chris Ramsey – 22/1
  • Will Bayley – 26/1
  • Michelle Visage – 59/1
  • Mike Bushell – 79/1
  • James Cracknell – 109/1
  • Anneka Rice – 159/1
  • David James – 189/1

Strictly Come Dancing is back!

Saturday's live show will see the contestants performing a variety of different dances, with everything from the cha cha to the foxtrot being showcased.

Both Barton and Zeroual will be doing the cha cha, to Abba and Shawn Mendes tracks, respectively.

There's (some) room for mistakes too as there will be no elimination this week.

Strictly Come Dancing airs on Saturday at 7pm on BBC One.

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