Strictly Come Dancing confirms ex home secretary Jacqui Smith for new series


Former home secretary Jacqui Smith has confirmed she will join Strictly Come Dancing – saying she will "throw myself into the challenge".

Smith, 57, who quit her job in 2009 after a porn expenses scandal, completes the line-up for the new BBC series.

She stepped down as Home Secretary after it emerged that adult films watched by her husband had been charged to the taxpayer.

Smith later took a backbench position but lost her seat in the 2010 election.

Announcing she will join Strictly this autumn, the ex-Labour MP said: "I was speechless with excitement at being asked to join Strictly – and that's very rare for me.

Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith
Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith

"Fifty years ago, I got a bronze medal for Scottish Highland Dancing and it feels about time to return to dancing.

"I couldn't be in better hands with the Strictly team and I'm going to throw myself into the challenge. Watch out!"

The ex-politician was the UK's first female home secretary in 2007.

Smith is now chair of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and a Children's Trust in Sandwell, and has a podcast, For the Many, with broadcaster Iain Dale.


The news was revealed on The Steve Wright Show on BBC Radio 2.

Smith joins a line-up that includes actress Caroline Quentin, comedian Bill Bailey and reality star Jamie Laing.

Singer and YouTube star HRVY was also announced on Friday and said he is anxious about wearing the tight outfits on the BBC One show.

The musician, 21, real name Harvey Leigh Cantwell, said: "I'm proper nervous but I'm buzzing. I don't think it's the dancing – it's the tight shirts and the tight trousers," he told Kiss Breakfast with Jordan & Perri.

The singer said: "I think my mum is more excited that she'll be able to see me every Saturday night now."

Smith is the twelfth and final celebrity contestant confirmed for Strictly.

Soap star Maisie Smith, boxer Nicola Adams, TV presenter JJ Chalmers, Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh, The Wanted singer Max George, DJ Clara Amfo and former NFL player Jason Bell were previously announced.

Adams will compete on Strictly as part of its first same-sex couple for the show.

Flamboyant judge Bruno Tonioli will be absent from the Saturday night judging panel when the show returns.

Tonioli, who is in the US for Dancing With The Stars, will appear full-time towards the end of the series.