Entertainment

Strictly's Joe Sugg hopes to bring families together to watch show's new series

The BBC's flagship entertainment show returns to screens this weekend.

YouTube personality Joe Sugg has said he is hoping to bring younger and older viewers together around the TV to watch the new series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The 16th edition of the BBC dancing competition launches on Saturday with 15 celebrities from the worlds of sport, comedy and music set to hit the dance floor for the first time.

Sugg, who turns 27 on Saturday, is the younger brother of beauty blogger Zoella and has millions of followers on YouTube.

Following the announcement of this year’s Strictly line-up, he admitted that he expected older members of the show’s audience would not know who he was.

The vlogger said: “I thought if they have kids or grandkids or a niece or nephew, there’s more of a chance they would say ‘Ah OK, it’s the guy that you watch on YouTube’. But it’s been fine. I knew it would happen.

“What I’m really excited about, and one of the things that also made me really want to do this show, is the thought of getting a younger generation and the older generation on a Saturday night together in front of the TV watching something together as a family. That’s the goal.”

This year’s celebrity line-up features TV presenter Katie Piper, Blue singer Lee Ryan, former England cricketer Graeme Swann and newsreader Kate Silverton.

Head judge Shirley Ballas is set to return alongside Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Dame Darcey Bussell.

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly will also resume their roles as the programme’s hosts.

Saturday’s launch show will reveal which professional dancer will be paired up with each celebrity contestant.

Once the pairings have been announced the celebrities will all dance on the show for the first time as part of a group performance.

Music will be provided by live performances from Nile Rodgers and Chic, singer Craig David and rapper Stefflon Don.

Ryan, 35, acknowledged the enormity of taking part in the popular show and admitted that he had some misgivings before agreeing to take part.

He said: “I was worried about being on the show because it’s a massive thing and quite exposing. I’m quite a private person.

“I’m always with my kids or at work. I don’t go to the opening of an envelope. You won’t find me at many celeb parties. I’ve done all that. I’m a dad now.

“Coming onto a show like this you’re back in the bigger limelight. It’s the biggest show on TV. It’s to be expected.”

The new series of Strictly Come Dancing begins on BBC One on Saturday at 7.35pm.

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