New Strictly pro Kai Widdrington on competition with flatmate Giovanni Pernice

New Strictly Come Dancing professional Kai Widdrington has said he expects it will be “a little bit competitive” with his flatmate Giovanni Pernice when he joins the show later this year.

The Dancing With The Stars Ireland professional has been announced as a new addition to the line-up, alongside former Let’s Dance Germany professional Nikita Kuzmin, reigning South African Latin champion Cameron Lombard and winner of The Greatest Dancer Jowita Przystal.

Widdrington said he grew up watching Strictly Come Dancing with his parents so they are delighted he will be soon be appearing on the show.

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He told BBC Breakfast: “I used to watch the show when I was a little boy, they introduced me to it and that’s kind of what got me into dancing in the first place.

“So they’re huge fans of the show, they watch every season, so they’re over the moon that I’m going to be joining the professional lineup.”

The dancer said he is also excited to take to the floor alongside his flatmate, Strictly professional Pernice.

He said: “I get to dance alongside my flatmate, what more could you want?

Strictly Come Dancing
Giovanni Pernice was most recently paired with Ranvir Singh (Guy Levy/BBC)

“But he’s delighted, he was wishing me wishing me well.

“He’s known for a little while as well but he’s had to keep it quiet as well.

“It should be fun sharing a stage with you with one of your best mates.

“So that’s an added bonus definitely.

“We are really naturally quite competitive anyway, and he’s quite competitive in general but we just mess around.

“When it comes down to it, it’ll be a little bit competitive.

“But at the end of the day, it will be just be fun to share the stage.”

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Discussing getting ready for the show’s return in the autumn, he said: “We’re preparing a lot of the group dances now, we’re in rehearsals but I think it officially starts for us on Monday.

“So that obviously will be on Zoom and social distancing and stuff like that, so we’re trying to stay as safe as we can before the season starts.

“But rehearsals officially start on Monday.”