How sport stars, singers and actors have fared in Strictly
For some of the contestants about to rub sequins in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, there is a lot to live up to.
The sporting world has supplied three of Strictly’s 15 champions: cricketers Darren Gough in 2005 and Mark Ramprakash in 2006, and gymnast Louis Smith in 2012.
A further three sport stars have finished as runners-up: Denise Lewis (2004), Colin Jackson (2005) and Matt Dawson (2006).
This year’s sporting hopefuls are cricketer Graeme Swann and athlete Lauren Steadman.
If Swann can go the distance and equal the success of Gough and Ramprakash, he’ll make it a hat-trick of cricketing champions.
A total of 36 sportsmen and women have taken part in Strictly – most recently the athlete Jonnie Peacock, who last year finished in eighth place.
Singers have won Strictly twice: Alesha Dixon in 2007 and Jay McGuiness in 2015.
They have also finished as runners-up on six occasions, most recently Alexandra Burke in last year’s competition.
This year’s line-up boasts no fewer than three singers – Ashley Roberts, Lee Ryan and Faye Tozer – and given their backgrounds in live performance, it’s likely at least one has a shot at making the final.
Actors have typically made up a sizeable chunk of the Strictly line-up – there were four last year.
This year there are only two: Charles Venn and Danny John-Jules.
But there is an impressive history of actors winning the competition, starting with Jill Halfpenny in 2004, then Tom Chambers in 2008, Kara Tointon in 2010 and Joe McFadden last year.
If Venn or John-Jules wins this year, it’ll be the first back-to-back win for contestants from the same profession since the cricketing double of Gough and Ramprakash.