Nicola Adams joins Strictly line-up as part of first same-sex couple

Olympic gold medal-winning boxer Nicola Adams is to compete on Strictly Come Dancing as part of the show's first same-sex couple.

The sportswoman was the sixth celebrity to be officially confirmed for the new series of the BBC One show.

The 37-year-old joins previously announced contestants Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh, singer Max George, Jonathan Creek actress Caroline Quentin and former NFL player Jason Bell.

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She said: "I'm really excited to be joining this year's incredible line-up for Strictly Come Dancing.

"I'm a huge fan of the show and am thrilled to be part of something that holds such a special place in so many people's hearts.

"People might know me from work in the ring, but I'll be every bit as passionate and dedicated on the dance floor too.

"I also wanted to thank the BBC for supporting me and making me the first ever all female-pairing; and it's amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the entertainment industry."

The news was announced on BBC Breakfast, where Adams appeared via video call from Greece.

Asked whether she approached the show about being part of a same-sex pairing, she said: "I asked the show about it. They wanted to know if I wanted to be on the show but I said 'Yeah, I will do it but I want to dance with another female dance partner.'

"I know it's going to be tough, I know the training is going to be hard and I can't dance at all so this is going to be a totally new challenge for me."

She also promised she would return to the UK in time for training despite fears that Greece could be added to the UK's two-week quarantine list.

Adams, who won gold at both the London 2012 Olympics and Rio 2016, is dating Ella Baig and has been praised as an LGBT role model.

Ranvir Singh
Ranvir Singh

Earlier on Wednesday, Singh, 43, confirmed she would be taking part.

She said: "The initial feeling of being confirmed for Strictly is one of complete terror – feels like embarking on a rollercoaster, where you really want to do it but you are equally scared.

"Hopefully after the first dance I will feel exhilarated rather than sick!"

BBC Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo also joins the line-up, while George, 31, Quentin, 60, and Bell, 42, were all unveiled on Tuesday's The One Show.

Talking to Greg James following the reveal on his Radio 1 Breakfast show, Amfo said: "You know how, when we do the Live Lounge, people always say I can't sit still? You know at the Christmas party I am usually the first one on the dance floor and the last one off?

"And you know, I love a short skirt to upset my mum, so guess what? I am doing Strictly Come Dancing.

"I have been keeping this in for so long. It has been so frustrating but I am getting the sequins on."

Hey DJ! We can't wait for @BBCR1's @claraamfo to hit the dance floor. She's spinning straight into #Strictly 2020. 🎧

👉https://t.co/eObgB1iHAFpic.twitter.com/yyY2PkOFH4

— BBC Strictly ✨ (@bbcstrictly) September 2, 2020

The show will be shorter this year because of precautions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Bruno Tonioli will be missing from the judging panel for Saturday night shows when the series returns later this year because he is in Los Angeles, where he is on the panel for the US version of the show, Dancing With The Stars, and will not be able to travel back and forth.

However, he will be involved remotely in the Sunday night results show each week and will return to the show full-time towards the end of the series.

Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood are all expected to return to their judging roles.

The show would usually return at the end of September, with the final just before Christmas, but its 2020 launch is expected to be slightly delayed.