Ugo Monye: Who is the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 contestant and what is he famous for?

Ugo Monye (BBC)
Ugo Monye (BBC)

Rugby player and TV presenter Ugo Monye is among the celebrity contestants on this year’s series ofStrictly Come Dancing.

Monye recently made his debut as part of the revamped A Question of Sport as a team captain opposite former Olympic gold medal winning hockey player, Sam Quek. Paddy McGuinness joined them as the new host, replacing Sue Barker.

Before his TV career, Monye played rugby union for Harlequins and went on to be capped by England 14 times.

Born in Islington, London, Monye was a standout athlete from an early age. He competed in the 100m at the English Schools’ Championships, placing fifth. He ran alongside future Olympian, Mark Lewis-Francis.

As an 18-year-old, Monye was faced with the decision of pursuing either athletics or rugby and chose the later after his sports master put him in touch with the coach of Harlequins under 19’s.

Within a year, Monye was offered a professional contract. A versatile player, Monye is capable of playing on the wing, in the centre or at full back.

After excelling at club level, scoring 47 tries in 105 games for Harlequins, Monye was selected for England in 2008, starting all of their autumn internationals against Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

In recognition of his good form, Monye was selected for the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa and finished as the team’s leading try scorer with five.


Monye underwent a serious toe surgery in 2010 and never fully regained his previous form, only scoring two tries for England in 14 appearances.

In 13 years with Harlequins, Monye played 230 times and retired in 2015, aged 32. He won the Premiership with the team in 2012.

Since retirement, he has become a familiar face on the TV as a pundit for BT Sport.

Strictly Come Dancing airs on Saturday nights on BBC One.

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