Debbie McGee, Jonnie Peacock and Alexandra Burke complete the line-up for Strictly Come Dancing 2017.
Their participation was revealed today (21 August) on The One Show which was a special edition in tribute to Sir Bruce Forsyth. First to be revealed was Debbie whose husband Paul Daniels took part in the show in 2010.
“There are no words to describe how I feel about performing on Strictly Come Dancing. The excitement is overwhelming. I can’t stop smiling. It’s been the hardest secret I have ever had to keep!”
Debbie is a TV personality, presenter and the widow of magician Paul Daniels. Debbie achieved national and international fame through television appearances with Paul and appeared alongside him in the hugely popular BBC One series The Paul Daniels Magic Show which ran from 1979 to 1994.
Debbie’s career has spanned a range of genres; including classical ballet, cabaret, theatre and films and in 2008, Debbie added the role of Radio DJ to her credits, presenting her own Sunday morning show on BBC Radio Berkshire.
Paralympian Jonnie was next to be unveiled as a contestant.
“The opportunity to be the first contestant with a disability to take part in Strictly’s main show was too good to turn down. I’ve got no previous dance history outside of the occasional ‘worm’ at a mate’s party and I know this will be a challenge and a new experience. I can’t wait to see what I can achieve and how far I can push myself.” – Jonnie Peacock
Jonnie, a below the knee amputee, contracted meningitis at the age of five, but has bounced back to become one of Britain’s best known and most successful Para Athletes. He is a double Paralympic, World and European T44 100m Champion. Jonnie sensationally won his first Paralympic Gold medal in London 2012 in front of 80,000 people and has gone onto to win every major event that he’s entered, including the 2016 Paralympic Games and the 2017 World Championships in London this summer.
Last to be revealed, completing the line-up of 15 celebrities, was singer and West End star Alexandra Burke.
“I am so excited to be joining this year’s Strictly cast! I love this show and have followed it from the beginning, so being able to be a part of it is just a dream come true for me – I still can’t believe it! I am very nervous as I am a singer not a dancer, but I am going to give this my absolute everything and try my best to make everyone proud.”
Alexandra rose to fame winning The X Factor in 2008. Fellow Strictly 2017 contestant Aston Merrygold was also on The X Factor with JLS that year. Alexandra is also a West End performer currently starring in Sister Act in the lead role of Doloris Van Cartier in the UK tour. In 2014, she made her West End debut playing Rachel Marron in the stage musical adaption of The Bodyguard. Alexandra’s debut single Hallellujah sold over one million copies and became the top selling single for that year in the UK – a first for a British female solo artist. Her other hit singles include Broken Heels, All Night Long featuring Pitbull and Start Without You.