Official 'Strictly' 2019 line-up: Anneka Rice, James Cracknell and Dev Griffin announced

Amy West

Anneka Rice is the 15th and final celebrity contestant to be confirmed to have signed up for Strictly Come Dancing.

The veteran broadcaster, 60, joked that she has not "got a shimmy in me" and that she is this year's "Ann Widdecombe figure" as she was unveiled on Steve Wright In The Afternoon on BBC Radio 2.

Rice said: "Oh the stress of being the last person. Even though it's been in the papers for weeks, because I haven't told anyone, not even my

"It was very easy to deflect people because nobody ever thought I would
do it."

Anneka Rice attends the Roundhouse Gala at The Roundhouse on March 14, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for The Roundhouse)

James Cracknell has also signed up for Strictly Come Dancing - and apologised to his children in advance for any "embarrassment".

The double Olympic gold medallist, 47, is the 14th signing for the BBC One dancing show. He signed up after splitting from his wife, television presenter Beverley Turner.

The father-of-three said: "I'm really looking forward to being a part of Strictly this year.

"Having spent so many years mucking around in a rowing boat with big men in tight lycra, it's time I learned a new skill.

Cambridge's James Cracknell celebrates with his medal after the Men's Boat Race on the River Thames, London. (Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

"I need to apologise to my kids in advance for the embarrassment." Cracknell won rowing gold medals at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, and earlier this year became the oldest university boat race winner.

He joins Radio DJ Dev Griffin who was announced as the 13th contestant overnight. Griffin said the Strictly Come Dancing curse was "half the reason" he signed up after being announced as the next celebrity confirmed for the BBC show.

The actor and radio presenter announced the news on BBC Radio 1, where he hosts the weekend afternoon show.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Dev Griffin attends the BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards 2017 at Wembley Arena on October 22, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Tim P. Whitby/ Getty Images)

Hackney-born Griffin, 34, is the 13th celebrity unveiled for the 2019 edition of the flagship dancing show. Speaking to Jordan North, who was standing in for Nick Grimshaw, Griffin said: "I want to tell you a little story. In 1996 I entered a dance competition at the Pontins holiday park.

"I tried my very best. I danced to MC Hammer's Can't Touch This. I was slighted, I came second and I swore retribution.

"As as I walked away from those Red Coats I said, 'One day I'm going to take part in a dance competition and get really good and you will rue the day you slighted me.

"Fast forward to 2019 I'm going to be on this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing."

Alex Scott attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall on 12 May, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Former footballer and sports presenter Alex Scott has said her "life will be made" if she gets to perform to a Beyonce song when she takes to the dance floor on Strictly Come Dancing.

The former Arsenal captain and England football star was announced on BBC Radio 1Xtra as the twelfth celebrity to be competing.

In 2018 she competed in the Strictly Come Dancing Sport Relief special, which she won alongside Strictly pro Pasha Kovalev.

The 34-year-old told Radio 1Xtra DJ Ace that she was most looking forward to dancing the Argentine tango.

She explained: "I'd say the one that gets me the most is the Argentine tango, just the passion and the energy in that dance."

Made In Chelsea's Jamie Laing, RuPaul's Drag Race star Michelle Visage and Paralympic champion Will Bayley were yesterday announced as part of the Strictly Come Dancing line-up.

The trio were confirmed for this year's series on Monday, starting with sports star Bayley, one of the stars of the London 2012 and Rio 2016 games.

Made In Chelsea star Laing was confirmed on ITV's Loose Women, where he said he hopes his Strictly stint will make his mother proud. Laing, 30, told the programme that he has known about his new TV job for about a month, adding: "I'm not very good at keeping secrets so that was quite tricky, especially from my mum.

Jamie Laing attends BBC Radio 1's Teen Awards at SSE Arena Wembley on October 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty Images)

"I couldn't even tell my mum, and every single year she says, 'are you doing the show?'... So hey, surprise mum!"

He added: "She's very excited, it's one of those shows that not only do you get to learn a talent and things like that, but at last she'll be proud of me."


Visage has judged the US reality show RuPaul's Drag Race since season three as well as every edition of the spin-off series RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, and will star in RuPaul’s Drag Race UK which begins on BBC Three this October.

She was one of the strongest-rumoured contestants for this series and said: “Getting to do Strictly in my favourite place on Earth is an actual DREAM!

Read more: Zoe Ball had no idea who Saffron Barker was

“I'm so excited to show that being 50 doesn't mean life stops. Things may not work like they did when I was 20, but 50 also means 'FABULOUS!'

“There are plenty of women like me out there who still 'got it' and we still 'plan to use it!' so slap on the sequins, point me to the dance floor and watch me Paso my Doble!”

Visage was announced as the latest celeb signing on today’s Lorraine show on ITV.

She will also be familiar to viewers from her time on the 15th series of Celebrity Big Brother, two seasons judging Ireland’s Got Talent, and her recent West End debut in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

Her reveal was closely followed by celeb number 10, Paralympic table tennis champ Will Bayley.

Read more: Strictly’s sports star winners and losers

The star of the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympics is currently training to defend his title at Tokyo 2020 and has been awarded an MBE for his services to table tennis.

He has had arthrogryposis since birth, which affects all four of his limbs, and was announced for the cast on TalkRadio this morning.

Bayley said: “I’m so proud to be on the show, it’s my family’s favourite show. I have no dance experience at all, but I hope I can do well. I want to inspire people with a disability - that would mean a lot to me. I want to prove to people I can do this.”

Fellow Paralympian Lauren Steadman was hugely successful in 2018, reaching the Strictly semi-final, while Paralympic sprinter Jonnie Peacock was a fan favourite in the 2017 series.

Yesterday’s contestant reveal brought a touch of class with Viscountess Emma Weymouth on Gaby Roslin’s BBC Radio London show.

The Longleat Estate chatelaine and chef said: “I absolutely love watching Strictly every weekend and I can’t believe that I’m getting the chance to be on this series. I know it will be such an amazing experience from start to finish. I can’t wait for the dancing and the fabulous outfits!”

Saturday saw CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual unveiled as contestant number seven at the CBBC Summer Social Festival.

Read more: Susannah Constantine’s 30-year battle with anxiety

He said: “To be offered the chance to take part in Strictly is dumbfounding, I’m pinching myself…!

“I’m so excited to be Strictlified. I want THE LOT. The skimpiest of clothes, the widest of flares, the brightest of colours and the tallest Cuban heel a guy can find! The more flamboyant the better… sequins galore please!”

BBC Breakfast sports presenter Mike Bushell was the sixth confirmed celebrity to be taking part after weeks of rumours, but BBC Breakfast officially announced the news on Friday 2 August.

"It feels like a weird dream, I've known a few weeks,” he said on the show. "I'm flying the flag for dad dancers. It's gonna be a steep learning curve.

“I'm not underestimating the physical challenge.”

On Thursday 1 August, it was announced that YouTuber Saffron Barker and Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley had also joined the ever-growing roster.

Read more: ‘Strictly’ introduces new professional dancer as rehearsals for latest series begin

Former Pussycat Dolls member Ashley Roberts – who made it to the final of Strictly with professional partner Pasha Kovalev last year - officially announced 19-year-old Barker will be taking part in the BBC dance contest on Heart FM today (Thursday 1 August).

YouTuber Saffron Barker's involvement was announced on Heart FM radio on Thursday 1 August (Andrew Benge/Andrew Benge/Getty Images for Nickelodeon UK)

Barker said in a statement: "I am really excited to go on the Strictly journey and am feeling very grateful for the opportunity. I’m looking forward to learning all of the dances, finding out who my partner is, getting to wear the costumes and to just experience this once in a lifetime opportunity."

A few hours later, Tyldesley’s involvement was confirmed by television personalities Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes on This Morning.

The 35-year-old actor - best known for playing Eva Price in Corrie from 2011 to 2018 - has a three-year-old son Alfie.

She said: “I love to dance on a night out if I've had a couple of drinks, and me and Alfie love to do silly dancing in the kitchen, but that's it. I'm terrified...”

Barker will be competing against the likes of comedian Chris Ramsey (pictured), 'EastEnders' actor Emma Barton and former footballer David James (Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage)

In 2018, Joe Sugg became the first social media star to sign on for the BBC dance competition, so it seems as if his successful run has inspired bosses to continue adding names who have similar followings to its future line-ups.

Ahead of the new series, Strictly tasked last year’s winner and The One Show stand-in Stacey Dooley with revealing that former footballer David James, EastEnders actor Emma Barton and comedian Chris Ramsey are all set to don the sequins and spandex in a few months’ time too.

Read more: Stacey Dooley says she is "so happy" as she speaks about relationship with "amazing" Kevin Clifton

The latter’s wife teased him about his involvement in the show on Twitter, sharing the news while joking: “He dropped me on Saturday. Good luck to his next victim.”

Before Dooley and co-presenter Matt Baker confirmed the trio, Good Morning Britain’s Iain Lee wrongly stated that the pair would be announcing that former football manager Sam Allardyce, Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing and television personality Anneka Rice were a part of the 2019 line-up.

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