First Strictly Come Dancing Contestants Announced!

The first three celebrity contestants on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing have been announced on the BBC’s The One Show.

Actress Caroline Quentin, former NFL player Jason Bell and The Wanted’s Max George were revealed as the first of the line-up for the 2020 series.

Caroline, 60, is best known for her roles as Dorothy in Men Behaving Badly, and as Jonathan Creek’s sleuthing sidekick in Jonathan Creek.

On taking part in this year’s show, she said, “I am thrilled and terrified in equal measure to be taking part” 

As well as sitcom Men Behaving Badly, Caroline has also presented a number of documentaries, as well as two very successful series of Extraordinary Homes for BBC Two. She recently performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2019.

Jason Bell will try to dance his way to top on 2020 Strictly Come Dancing. Pic: BBC

The second contestant to be revealed, sportsman and broadcaster Jason, 42, shares a daughter with former Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle.

Jason said: “Strictly is the epitome of British television and this year, more than ever, I’m so proud and humbled to be participating. Strictly was the first show I ever watched when I moved to the UK and I’m a massive fan. My six year-old daughter never got the chance to see me run out on the field at an NFL game but she is very excited about me taking to the dance floor. I hope I can do her proud.”

It’s thought that this year’s series will be shorter than the normal Strictly runs because of the extra measures taken due to the pandemic. Social distancing rules have been imposed on all television filming so the Strictly team are thought to be quarantining together while filming takes place.

Despite the changes, Rylan Clark-Neal, co-host of Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two promised earlier this month that it would still be the show the we know and love!

The third contestant unveiled was actor and singer Max George, who said he was “buzzing” to be on the show.

“Not really one for the dance floor” he says, “but I take a lot of comfort in the fact that Jay McGuiness set The Wanted’s bar so low!”

Max is hoping to do better than his The Wanted bandmate Pic: BBC

Last year’s winners were former Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher dancing with Oti Mabus, who scored a near-perfect 118 in the final.

Kate Phillips, the BBC’s entertainment controller, spoke about the forthcoming series at the recent virtual Edinburgh TV Festival.

She said, “I think it will be rather special this series. I think there will be heightened emotions at part, I think a lot of the dances will have real poignancy, the pros have all been isolating together for the last couple of weeks, so they are now rehearsing together the big dance numbers.”

  • Strictly Come Dancing is expected to air later in October on BBC One.

Mitya Underwood