Broadcaster swaps swing for samba to join Strictly

Journalist Jeremy Vine said he wants to be "doing the splits by September"

PRESENTER Jeremy Vine is the first person to join the line-up for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Known for his election swingometer, journalist Vine said he wants to try to be "doing the splits by September".

The 50-year-old contestant said: "How could I say no to the biggest show in TV? Yes, yes, yes and yes again to the sequins and the samba."

He told The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2: "But you know, they asked me and I just thought I just turned 50 this year I've got to start dancing properly. I can't go into the dad dancing.

"Now I just need to find some dancing shoes and identify my left foot. I am doing it for my two young daughters who jumped behind the sofa when I told them. It seems dad on Strictly is more scary than Doctor Who."

Current-affairs supremo Vine is the host of his self-titled BBC Radio 2 programme, which presents news, views and interviews with live guests and music every weekday.

He presents BBC One's Points Of View on Sundays, as well as Eggheads on BBC Two, a teatime staple which is now one of the longest-running quiz shows in British TV history.

A seasoned broadcaster, he has also been one of the presenters for the BBC's election coverage since 2006, including overseeing the famous swingometer.

More celebrity contestants for the 13th series of Strictly Come Dancing will be announced in due course.

Other names that have been mentioned in connection with the new series include former This Morning presenters Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan, former Liberty X singer Michelle Heaton, singer Peter Andre, EastEnder Shane Richie, and Loose Women's Jamelia.

Last month a spokeswoman for Jamie and Louise Redknapp said they will not be appearing on the show.

Reports suggesting that the husband and wife duo were in advanced talks to join the line-up of the BBC One dance show were said to be "completely untrue".

Last year's series was won by Caroline Flack, who beat celebrities including Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge and EastEnders actor Jake Wood to win the glitterball trophy.


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