Here is everything you need to know about this year's Strictly Come Dancing celebrities


Fifteen contestants will compete for the glitterball trophy on Strictly Come Dancing this year, including Olympians, actors and singers.

Here is a look at who is set to hit the dance floor.

1. Lesley Joseph

Lesley Joseph (Ian West)
Lesley Joseph (Ian West)

The Birds Of A Feather star, 70, is the oldest contestant taking part in the show. She is best known for her portrayal of man-eating Dorien Green in the hit sitcom. Joseph is also a theatre veteran and recently shared the role of Miss Hannigan in a production of Annie with Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood.

2. Ed Balls

The former shadow chancellor, 49, was a casualty of the 2015 election but has been encouraged to face the voting public again by his wife, MP Yvette Cooper. The Labour heavyweight has run three marathons but says his dancing experience so far has been limited to pensioners' clubs.

3. Naga Munchetty

BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty will mix early mornings with dance rehearsals (Jay Brooks/BBC/PA)
BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty will mix early mornings with dance rehearsals (Jay Brooks/BBC/PA)

The newsreader, 41, will be a familiar face as she is a regular on BBC Breakfast. She is a keen golfer and when she won Celebrity Mastermind in 2013 she confessed she plays five times a week.

4. Will Young

Louise Redknapp, Will Young and Naga Munchetty (Ian West)
Louise Redknapp, Will Young and Naga Munchetty (Ian West)

Singer Young, 37, has a strong history of winning competition shows. He was the first champion of Pop Idol, in 2002. Since then he has had a string of hit albums and has appeared on stage and screen in plays and films. His performance in the musical Cabaret in 2013 in London earned him a Best Actor in a Musical nomination at the Laurence Olivier Awards.

5. Greg Rutherford

The Olympic champion, 29, won a bronze medal in Rio for the long jump - four years after his gold medal triumph in London. He will be hoping his training discipline stands him in good stead, because he says his dancing resembles a "drunk spider".

6. Daisy Lowe

Daisy Lowe  (Jay Brooks/BBC/PA Images)
Daisy Lowe (Jay Brooks/BBC/PA Images)

The 27-year-old model has posed nude for Playboy, so she will not be shy about wearing some of the show's raunchier costumes. Watch out for her famous supporters in the audience, as she is close friends with Darius Campbell, Pixie Geldof, Nick Grimshaw, and Florence Welch.

7. Tameka Empson

Tameka Empson  (Ian West)
Tameka Empson (Ian West)

The actress, 39, is best known for playing Kim Fox in EastEnders but she also won fans as one of the three protagonists in the hidden camera comedy sketch show 3 Non-Blondes. She has starred in pantomimes at the Hackney Empire, in east London, every year since 2004, so she is no stranger to live shows.

8. Danny Mac

The former soap hunk, 28, found fame as Mark "Dodger" Savage in Hollyoaks and won legions of fans with his numerous shirtless scenes. The actor says he will embrace Strictly's more daring costumes, so he will likely wear shirts slashed to the navel for the foreseeable future.

9. Judge Rinder

Judge Rinder (BBC Pictures)
Judge Rinder (BBC Pictures)

The criminal barrister, 38, rules on real-life cases in his ITV daytime courtroom show. He hopes his close friend Benedict Cumberbatch will come to support him as he takes his turn around the dance floor.

10. Ore Oduba

Ore Oduba and Anastacia at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2016
Anastacia with Ore Oduba at the show launch (Ian West/PA)

Former Newsround presenter Oduba, 29, has already appeared on Let's Dance For Comic Relief. He was eliminated after dancing to Hey Ya by Outkast, so will be hoping for better luck this time around. He now works for BBC Sport, and presented coverage of the Rio Olympics.

11. Louise Redknapp

Louise Redknapp looked beautiful in lilac (Jay Brooks/BBC/PA)
Louise Redknapp looked beautiful in lilac (Jay Brooks/BBC/PA)

The former Eternal singer, 41, is no stranger to performing, having enjoyed solo success after the girl group split. She is married to former footballer Jamie Redknapp and they have two sons, who are mainly concerned their mum doesn't embarrass them.

12. Laura Whitmore

Presenter Laura Whitmore wore a spangly yellow number (Jay Brooks/BBC/PA)
Presenter Laura Whitmore wore a sparkly yellow number (Jay Brooks/BBC/PA)

Irish presenter Whitmore, 31, was the face of MTV News in Europe and went on to co-host I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! NOW! She announced earlier this year that she will not return for the next series of the ITV spin-off.

13. Anastacia

Undated BBC handout photo of Anastacia who is taking part in BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing 2016
(Jay Brooks/BBC)

The American singer, 47, has enjoyed hits with I'm Outta Love and Left Outside Alone. She has beaten breast cancer twice and had a double mastectomy as a result, prompting her to announce she will donate her Strictly appearance fee to a cancer charity.

14. Melvin Odoom

The former Xtra Factor presenter, 36, has also co-hosted ITV2´s Brit Awards red carpet show and an ITV Saturday night game show called Bang On The Money. He and co-host Rochelle Humes quit The Xtra Factor earlier this year and have been replaced by Rylan Clark-Neal and Matt Edmondson.

15. Claudia Fragapane

Claudia Fragapane (BBC Pictures)
Claudia Fragapane (BBC Pictures)

Olympic gymnast Claudia, 18, is fresh from the Rio Games, so has athleticism on her side. She won four gold medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and will be hoping for similar success on the dance floor.