Aston Merrygold joins Strictly Come Dancing

BUILD LDN: Narges Rashidi, Aston Merrygold & Samuel Barnett
BUILD LDN: Narges Rashidi, Aston Merrygold & Samuel Barnett

Pop star Aston Merrygold has been announced as the latest star to join Strictly Come Dancing.

The former JLS singer, who found fame on Strictly's rival The X Factor, is the eighth contestant to be announced for the 15th series, which starts in September.

In a statement, the 29-year-old said: "I'm so happy to be joining Strictly 2017, it is such a brilliant show and I've followed it for years."

Aston is following in the footsteps of former bandmate Jonathan 'JB' Gill, who recently came third on ITV series Dance Dance Dance.

Alongside Merrygold will be pop star Mollie King, EastEnders actor Davood Ghadami, TV presenter Ruth Langsford, actress Gemma Atkinson, Rev Richard Coles, Holby City actor Joe McFadden and TV chef Simon Rimmer.

This year's series will see the addition of new judge Shirley Ballas, who replaces original judge Len Goodman after his retirement last year.