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Strictly 2019: David James, Chris Ramsey and Emma Barton announced

Footballer David James, comedian Chris Ramsey and EastEnders actress Emma Barton have been unveiled as the first three contestants taking part in Strictly Come Dancing 2019.

But the announcement on Wednesday evening’s edition of The One Show was ruined by stand-in host (and last year’s Strictly champion) Stacey Dooley, when she talked over the voiceover during the big reveal.

David was first to be revealed, but Stacey was heard chattering about him in the background while Strictly announcer Alan Dedicoat drummed up the suspense. 

One, two, three...: [L-R] Footballer David James, comedian Chris Ramsey and EastEnders actress Emma Barton have been unveiled as the first three contestants taking part in Strictly Come Dancing 2019

One, two, three…: [L-R] Footballer David James, comedian Chris Ramsey and EastEnders actress Emma Barton have been unveiled as the first three contestants taking part in Strictly Come Dancing 2019

Nonetheless, out David came, revealing that the only person he had told was his mother.

‘I have been asked to do it a few times, but this time around I said yes…’ the 48-year-old said.

The former England goalkeeper – who has also worked as a football analyst for the BBC and BT Sport – said in a statement: ‘I’m really excited to be on Strictly this year. Not just competing against this year’s stars, but being compared to previous sport stars from previous Strictly seasons. I have some big shoes to fill.’

Next was ex I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here Now! host Chris, 32, who gushed: ‘As a comedian there are not so many things all the family, including the kids, can watch me on. But this is something everyone can watch.’

Blunder! The announcement on Wednesday evening's edition of The One Show was ruined by stand-in host (and last year's Strictly champion) Stacey Dooley, when she talked over the voiceover during the big reveal

Blunder! The announcement on Wednesday evening’s edition of The One Show was ruined by stand-in host (and last year’s Strictly champion) Stacey Dooley, when she talked over the voiceover during the big reveal

He revealed he had ‘told everyone’ he was doing it, including three of his friends while drunk.

‘I told three of my mates on a stag do, but thankfully they forgot!’ he said.

He added: ‘I’m both excited and absolutely terrified to be doing the show. You will not find me on the dance floor at parties, you will find me at the buffet table. All night.

‘At my wedding I danced with my wife; that one song took about six months practice, and I definitely stood on her feet a couple of times. So I’m looking forward to the possibility of making a fool of myself in front of millions of people … there better be a buffet after the live shows.’

Mishap: David was first to be revealed, but Stacey was heard chattering about him in the background while Strictly announcer Alan Dedicoat drummed up the suspense

Mishap: David was first to be revealed, but Stacey was heard chattering about him in the background while Strictly announcer Alan Dedicoat drummed up the suspense

Letting it slip: Chris revealed he had 'told everyone' he was doing it, including three of his friends while drunk. 'I told three of my mates on a stag do, but thankfully they forgot!' he said

Letting it slip: Chris revealed he had 'told everyone' he was doing it, including three of his friends while drunk. 'I told three of my mates on a stag do, but thankfully they forgot!' he said

Letting it slip: Chris revealed he had ‘told everyone’ he was doing it, including three of his friends while drunk. ‘I told three of my mates on a stag do, but thankfully they forgot!’ he said

Ta-Dah! Emma was heard banging a drum, performing the infamous EastEnders theme tune, before stepping into the studio to join her new fellow-contestants

First up: David kicked things off as the first of the stars revealed to be taking part

Number three: Emma was third to be unveiled

Celebs: David has worked as a football analyst for the BBC and BT Sport, while Emma has appeared on Celebrity MasterChef

Emma, 42, was third to be unveiled. She was heard banging a drum, performing the infamous EastEnders theme tune,  before stepping into the studio to join her new fellow-contestants.

Emma – who plays Honey Mitchell in the stalwart BBC soap – said: ‘As possibly one of the biggest Strictly fans on the planet, I still can’t believe this is happening.

‘I’m very much a dance around your handbag kinda girl, but now I’ve been given this wonderful opportunity to learn all the different styles of dancing from the very best in the business.

‘So, I’m whipping off Honey’s Minute Mart tabard and diving right in to all the glitter and sparkle. From Albert Square to the Strictly dance floor – I just can’t wait!’

David said in a statement: 'I’m really excited to be on Strictly this year. Not just competing against this year's stars, but being compared to previous sport stars from previous Strictly seasons. I have some big shoes to fill'

David said in a statement: 'I’m really excited to be on Strictly this year. Not just competing against this year's stars, but being compared to previous sport stars from previous Strictly seasons. I have some big shoes to fill'

David said in a statement: ‘I’m really excited to be on Strictly this year. Not just competing against this year’s stars, but being compared to previous sport stars from previous Strictly seasons. I have some big shoes to fill’

STRICTLY COME DANCING 2019: WHO ARE THE STARS?

Doing the funny fandango: Chris is known for his career in comedy

Doing the funny fandango: Chris is known for his career in comedy

Name: Chris Ramsey

Age: 32

Famous for? Comedian and TV presenter

About Chris: With two series of The Chris Ramsey Show under his belt, he is also a regular face on other entertainment shows such as Celebrity Juice, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Live at the Comedy Store. He has also appeared on TV hosting Stand Up Central, and I’m a Celebrity: Extra Camp. In addition to his television work, Chris has also completed sell-out tours across the UK. Chris finished touring the UK last year with his 106 date stand-up tour Chris Ramsay Live 2018: The Just Happy To Get Out of the House Tour.

Chris says: ‘I’m both excited and absolutely terrified to be doing the show. You will not find me on the dance floor at parties, you will find me at the buffet table. All night. At my wedding I danced with my wife; that one song took about 6 months practice, and I definitely stood on her feet a couple of times. So I’m looking forward to the possibility of making a fool of myself in front of millions of people… there better be a buffet after the live shows!’

Waltzing from Walford: Emma plays Honey Mitchell on EastEnders

Waltzing from Walford: Emma plays Honey Mitchell on EastEnders

Name: Emma Barton

Age: 42

Famous for? Playing Honey Mitchell in EastEnders from 2005 to 2008, then returning to the roll from 2014 to present.

About Emma: As well as many on screen roles, Emma is also an accomplished stage actress with theatre credits including: Roxie Hart in Chicago; Dolly in the National Theatre’s production of One Man Two Guvnors; Vera in Doctor in the House; Lily in Annie; Marty in Grease; Eileen in Over the Moon. She recently ran the London Marathon as one of Dame Barbara Windsor’s ‘Revolutionaries’, in aid of Dementia Revolution.

Emma says: ‘As possibly one of the biggest Strictly fans on the planet, I still can’t believe this is happening. I’m very much a dance around your handbag kinda girl, but now I’ve been given this wonderful opportunity to learn all the different styles of dancing from the very best in the business. So, I’m whipping off Honey’s Minute Mart tabard & diving right in to all the glitter & sparkle. From Albert Square to the Strictly dance floor – I just can’t wait!’

From football to foxtrot: David is a goalkeeper, artist and pundit

From football to foxtrot: David is a goalkeeper, artist and pundit

Name: David James MBE

Age: 48

Famous for? Former England No.1 goalkeeper.

About David: Starting his career at Watford, David went on to play for a number of clubs including Liverpool, where he lifted the League Cup in 1994-95, and Portsmouth, whom he helped to FA Cup success in 2007-08. He amassed 53 caps for his country over an international career spanning 13 years and was first choice at both Euro 2004 and the 2010 World Cup. David, who has worked as a football analyst for the BBC & BT Sport, was awarded an MBE in 2012 for services to football and charity, and hung up his boots in 2013 after finishing his career at Icelandic club IBV. Aside from football James has also modelled for Giorgio Armani and H&M as well as being an avid artist, and was the illustrator on the book Harry’s Magic Pockets: The Circus.

David says: ‘I’m really excited to be on Strictly this year. Not just competing against this year’s stars, but being compared to previous sport stars from previous Strictly seasons. I have some big shoes to fill, #LetsGetLive.’

Who's next? The rest of the contestants are typically drip-fed to the public on various TV and radio shows across the UK over the month of August...

Who’s next? The rest of the contestants are typically drip-fed to the public on various TV and radio shows across the UK over the month of August…

 

The pros: Chinese dancer Nancy Xu [pictured top row, 4th from left] has joined the professional dancers, who finally kicked off rehearsals for the new series on Tuesday

The pros: Chinese dancer Nancy Xu [pictured top row, 4th from left] has joined the professional dancers, who finally kicked off rehearsals for the new series on Tuesday

The fans are out: The reaction was widely a favorable one across social media

The fans are out: The reaction was widely a favorable one across social media

Twitter erupted with delight at the news that Chris was taking part.

One fan penned: ‘Come on @IAmChrisRamsey!!! You’ll be great on #StrictlyComeDancing #TeamChris’ 

Followed by another – ‘So excited that @IAmChrisRamsey is doing #StrictlyComeDancing’ and a third – ‘Am I seeing this right? @IAmChrisRamsey is going to be in Strictly this year?!’

Another referenced Chris’ wife, podcaster Rosie: ‘@IAmChrisRamsey buzzing about the Strictly news. Can’t wait to see @Rosemarino commentary on t each week #StrictlyComeDancing #strictly2019’

Another person was thrilled to hear that Emma was taking part: ‘Yessss @EmmaBarton cant wait to see you on strictly, good luck Emma, your gonna be fab [sic]’

Another added: ‘CHRIS RAMSEY, DAVID JAMES AND EMMA BARTON we’re off to a good start. #SrictlyComeDancing is looking good so far this year!’

Some were underwhelmed, however: ‘First 3 celebrities on #BBCStrictly… Haven’t a clue! I don’t know any of ‘em [sic]’

‘Well the first three contestants are meh [sic],’ complained another.

The reveal may have surprised some fans of the annual tea-time dance competition, who may have been expecting three entirely different names.

Earlier in the day, broadcaster Iain Lee randomly claimed that Sam Allardyce, Jamie Laing and Anneka Rice will be the first names to be announced, during an appearance on Good Morning Britain.

He claimed: ‘They are going to announce the first three people on a show called The One Show – it’s going to be Sam Allardyce, Jamie Laing and Anneka rice.’

Seemingly unaware Iain was going to make the announcement, host Ben Shephard said: ‘They are announcing it later and you have already announced it?’

Feigning shock, Iain replied: ‘Oops, sorry.’

They then discussed ‘Big Sam’ Allardyce joining the star-studded line-up, as presenter Kate Garraway quizzed Ben on how he thought his pal would get on. 

Ben said, ‘I do know Sam quite well’, and when questioned on how he thought Sam would cope with the quickstep, he responded: ‘Undoubtedly’.

Other celebs rumoured to be joining this year’s roster include the likes of Coronation Street stars Catherine Tyldesley and Lucy Fallon, as well as I’m A Celeb king Harry Redknapp. 

Other names floating around include Line Of Duty’s Adrian Dunbar, Boyzone singer Keith Duffy, broadcaster Louis Theroux, footballer (and husband of former Strictly champion Abbey Clancy) Peter Crouch and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK judges Michelle Visage and Alan Carr.

The BBC do not comment on speculation when it comes to the final line-up, with the rest of the contestants typically drip-fed to the public on various TV and radio shows across the UK over the month of August. 

New girl in town! Confirming the news on her 28th birthday, Nancy gushed that it was a 'dream come true' to land a job on the show, as she replaces Pasha Kovalev who quit the show earlier this year

New girl in town! Confirming the news on her 28th birthday, Nancy gushed that it was a ‘dream come true’ to land a job on the show, as she replaces Pasha Kovalev who quit the show earlier this year

Quick step: Professional dancer Kevin Clifton was snapped leaving BBC Broadcasting House in London shortly after his girlfriend Stacey made the announcement blunder live on air

Quick step: Professional dancer Kevin Clifton was snapped leaving BBC Broadcasting House in London shortly after his girlfriend Stacey made the announcement blunder live on air

Quick step: Professional dancer Kevin Clifton was snapped leaving BBC Broadcasting House in London shortly after his girlfriend Stacey made the announcement blunder live on air

New addition: In a further shake up on the show, pro dancer Oti Mabuse's sister Motsi will be joining the panel following Darcey Bussell's exit from the programme

New addition: In a further shake up on the show, pro dancer Oti Mabuse’s sister Motsi will be joining the panel following Darcey Bussell’s exit from the programme

Oops! Iain Lee claimed to know who would be revealed on Wednesday and blurted out three names - that turned out to be wrong - during an appearance on Good Morning Britain earlier in the day

Oops! Iain Lee claimed to know who would be revealed on Wednesday and blurted out three names – that turned out to be wrong – during an appearance on Good Morning Britain earlier in the day

Out with the old: Darcey will be replaced with Motsi, who will join Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Shirley Ballas on the judging panel

Out with the old: Darcey will be replaced with Motsi, who will join Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Shirley Ballas on the judging panel

There’s been a shake-up amid the pro dancers this year, as well as the judging panel.

Chinese dancer Nancy Xu has joined the pros, who finally kicked off rehearsals for the new series on Tuesday.

Confirming the news on her 28th birthday, Nancy gushed that it was a ‘dream come true’ to land a job on the show, as she replaces Pasha Kovalev who quit the show earlier this year.

It’s all change behind the judging desk too, with pro dancer Oti Mabuse’s sister Motsi taking over from exiting judge Dame Darcey Bussell.

Strictly Come Dancing: How the judging panel has evolved…

SEASON 1 – SEASON 6

Len Goodman, Arlene Phillips, Bruno Tonioli & Craig Revel Horwood 

The Originals: Craig, Arlene, Len and Bruno kicked things off in 2004

The Originals: Craig, Arlene, Len and Bruno kicked things off in 2004

Strictly Come Dancing burst onto screens 16 seasons ago, in 2004. 

The original line-up featured Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood, both of whom are still on the panel in its current form.

The two long-standing stars were joined by original head judge Len Goodman.

The trio of dance pros were joined by Arlene Phillips, through to 2008, which marked Arlene’s final season.

SEASON 7 – SEASON 9

Len Goodman, Alesha Dixon, Bruno Tonioli & Craig Revel Horwood

Controversy: Arlene was out and Alesha was in for Strictly 2009 - 2011

Controversy: Arlene was out and Alesha was in for Strictly 2009 – 2011

Having taken part on the series as a celebrity contestant, Alesha Dixon joined the panel in the first Strictly shake-up.

Arlene was given the boot, after six seasons, with the BBC stating that the show needed a refresh.

This decision courted controversy at the time, with fans accusing the BBC of discrimination against older women on television; the BBC, however, strongly denied this.  

Alesha had appeared on season 5 of Strictly and had won it, with dance partner Matthew Cutler.

SEASON 9

Guest Judge: Jennifer Grey  

Stand in: Dirty Dancing's Jennifer Grey filled in for one week in 2011

Stand in: Dirty Dancing’s Jennifer Grey filled in for one week in 2011

Head judge Len had to sit a week out and was replaced with Jennifer Grey – star of Dirty Dancing.

Jennifer was the winner of the 11th season of Strictly’s US counterpart Dancing With The Stars.

In Len’s absence, Craig was head judge.

SEASON 10 – SEASON 14

Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood & Dame Darcey Bussell

Darcey dances in: Dame Darcey Bussell was drafted in alongside remaining stars Len, Bruno and Craig after Alesha jumped ship for BGT

Darcey dances in: Dame Darcey Bussell was drafted in alongside remaining stars Len, Bruno and Craig after Alesha jumped ship for BGT

Alesha swapped Strictly for the Britain’s Got Talent judging desk, leaving a spot to fill for the dance series’ 10th season.

This was when renowned ballerina, Dame Darcey Bussell was drafted in alongside remaining stars Len, Bruno and Craig.

This wasn’t Darcey’s first time behind the desk; she was a guest judge from the quarter final onwards on season 7 of the show. 

SEASON 12 

Guest Judge: Donny Osmond

Special guest: Donny Osmond was a fifth judge during the third week of Strictly 12

In the third week of Strictly season 12, American enterainer Donny Osmond joined the four regular judges behind the desk.

This meant that the maximum score that week was 50 points.

He was also that week’s musical guest, performing Moon River live on the show. 

SEASON 15 – SEASON 16

Shirley Ballas, Dame Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli & Craig Revel Horwood

New head judge: Shirley Ballas replaced exiting Len Goodman

New head judge: Shirley Ballas replaced exiting Len Goodman

The most recent incarnation of the panel has featured Shirley Ballas as head judge, after Len stepped down from the role after 14 seasons.

Len announced his retirement from the show, which left speculation rife as to who would be the next head judge.

While many thought Craig would be given the role, Shirley was appointed the job.

Flitting between LA and London, Shirley announced she was relocating permanently to the UK in 2019, suggesting she won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

SEASON 16

Guest Judge: Alfonso Ribeiro 

Carlton steps in: Alfonso Ribeiro guest judged in 2018

Carlton steps in: Alfonso Ribeiro guest judged in 2018

Fresh Prince Of Bel Air actor Alfonso Ribeiro stepped in one week in October when Bruno could not appear in 2018

The actor was well-known for playing Carlton in the American sitcom – famed for his own dance moves.

SEASON 17 

Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood & Motsi Mabuse 

Sister sister: Motsi Mabuse was unveiled as 2019's newest judge

Sister sister: Motsi Mabuse was unveiled as 2019’s newest judge

Pro dancer Oti Mabuse’s sister Motsi was announced as the new fourth judge for the 17th season of Strictly Come Dancing. 

The announcement was made over the summer of 2019, after Dame Darcey Bussell announced that she would be exiting the show. Of her departure, Darcey said: ‘I have enjoyed every minute of my time and will miss everyone from my fellow judges, the presenters, the dancers, the musicians, the entire back stage team, and especially the viewers of the show.’

Motsi said of her appointment: ‘I am absolutely overjoyed to be joining the Strictly judging panel. I have so much respect and admiration for the other three judges and hope to add my own bit of sparkle to the show. I can’t wait to get started!’  

Announcing her departure in April, Darcey said: ‘It has been a complete privilege for me to be part of Strictly, working with such a talented team. I have enjoyed every minute of my time and will miss everyone from my fellow judges, the presenters, the dancers, the musicians, the entire back stage team, and especially the viewers of the show, who have been so supportive.

‘I am not leaving because of any upset or disagreement at all, I am just stepping away to give more focus to my many other commitments in dance, after seven truly wonderful years that I can’t imagine having gone any better. 

‘I know I will miss being part of this unique show and the fact it celebrates dance is something I am so passionate about. I hope that I may be very lucky to be asked back again one day.’

New judge Motsi pipped the likes of perennial Strictly pro Anton Du Beke, Karen Hardy, Joanne Clifton and Cheryl to the post when it came to landing the judging role. While none of them were confirmed to be in the running, all were rumoured as potential replacements.

Strictly Come Dancing will air later this year, and more stars are set be announced in the coming weeks.

Daily Mail UK

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