Tom Fletcher reveals McFly bandmate inspired him to sign up to Strictly

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Tom Fletcher has revealed seeing his McFly bandmate Harry Judd win Strictly Come Dancing in 2011 inspired him to join the show.

The author and musician, 36, will be taking to the dance floor in the upcoming BBC One series and will be joined in the celebrity line-up by comedian and actor Robert Webb and TV presenter AJ Odudu.

News of the trio joining Strictly was announced during BBC’s The One Show on Wednesday night.

Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour – Birmingham
Harry Judd and dance partner Aliona Vilani (David Jones/PA)

Fletcher told co-hosts Amol Rajan and Alex Jones he was “so pleased the news is out. It has been so hard keeping it a secret”.

He said he was “equal parts excited and terrified”, adding: “I feel naked without a guitar. I am so used to holding a guitar on stage.”

Referring to McFly drummer Judd, who won Strictly in 2011 with professional dancer Aliona Vilani, he added: “I can’t shut Harry up about Strictly. Don’t give him any screen time. He has been giving me loads of advice already.

“I remember when he won it. I watched it every week. It was partly watching him do that and seeing what an amazing experience he had.

“He had an incredible time, so I think since then I have had this secret little desire to do it. But it has always been his thing, so I wanted to make sure he was happy with me doing it.”

Captain America: Civil War European Premiere – London
McFly (from left) Dougie Poynter, Danny Jones, Harry Judd and Tom Fletcher (Ian West/PA)

Jones also read out a message from Judd, which said: “I am so pleased he is doing Strictly. It is a win-win for me because if he wins it is great because he is my mate and bandmate, and I will be so pleased for him. But if he doesn’t win, even better because I can always remind him of who did.”

The musician rose to fame as the lead singer of McFly alongside Danny Jones, Dougie Poynter and Judd. The band formed in 2003 and are known for songs including Obviously, All About You and Five Colours In Her Hair.

Fletcher is married to author and podcast host Giovanna Fletcher, who won last year’s series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and they have three sons named Buzz, Buddy and Max.

Robert Webb (BBC/PA)
Robert Webb (BBC/PA)

Peep Show star Webb, 48, said he is “ludicrously excited” to be taking part in Strictly.

He said: “It’s a big, generous, joyful show and I can’t wait to get packed into a spandex onesie and fired from a glitter cannon directly at Claudia Winkleman. At least I think that’s what happens.

“My goal is to try and survive from week to week without causing serious injury to myself or innocent bystanders. I know it’s going to be a challenge.

“To do well in this competition is a test of character, although mainly it’s a test of dancing.”

The TV, film and theatre actor is best known as the unemployed musician Jez in Channel 4 comedy Peep Show, starring alongside David Mitchell. His other TV credits include That Mitchell and Webb Look and Channel 4 comedy-drama Back.

However, Webb does have previous form for winning a TV dancing show, after squeezing into a leotard, leg warmers and curly wig for Let’s Dance For Comic Relief in 2009, where he was voted series champion with his rendition of What A Feeling from the 1980s film Flashdance.

A video of his performance was shown on The One Show but Webb said he expected to face more difficult challenges on Strictly.

The TV Bafta winner underwent major heart surgery last year after discovering in 2019 that he was suffering from a heart murmur caused by a mitral valve prolapse.

AJ Odudu (BBC/PA)
AJ Odudu (BBC/PA)

Announced as the third contestant for Strictly, TV presenter Odudu, 33, said: “I am beyond chuffed that I am going to be on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing and I’m so glad I can finally tell my mum.

“Her face will be a picture, she’s going to be over the moon! I absolutely love the show and am fully committed to making the most of every second of the Strictly experience. Bring it on!”

She has presented TV shows including The Voice, The Voice Kids, Big Brother’s Bit On The Side, Don’t Rock The Boat and Apocalypse Wow.

Odudu also took part in Channel 4’s Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins in aid of charity Stand Up To Cancer in 2019 and is a contestant on ITV’s Cooking With The Stars.

This year’s Strictly Come Dancing series will see professional dancer Anton Du Beke join the judging panel in the place of Bruno Tonioli, and will also feature four new professional dancers to put the celebrities through their paces.

The official broadcast date is yet to be announced.

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