Coronation Street's Alexandra Mardell joins Strictly's Christmas special line-up

The actress is the third celebrity to be announced as part of the festive line-up.

Coronation Street star Alexandra Mardell is the latest celebrity contestant to be announced for Strictly Come Dancing’s Christmas special.

The 29-year-old actress will be partnered with professional dancer Kai Widdrington when she takes to the dancefloor in the festive version of the BBC One show.

Mardell, who is best known for playing Emma Brooker in the ITV soap, said her appearance on the show is the “best Christmas present” she can give her mother.

After the news was announced on BBC Radio 5 Live! on Thursday, Mardell said: “I’ve grown up with Strictly Come Dancing, and my mum always said she’d love to see me on the show so this really is the best Christmas present I could give her.

“I can’t wait to get into the training room and see what festive moves I can bring to the table!”

The actress has also featured in the crime drama series Vera, where she played the role of Kelly Horton, and she will also play the lead in forthcoming ITV series The Family Pile.

TRIC Awards 2020 – London
Rickie Haywood-Williams is also part of Strictly Come Dancing’s festive line-up (Ian West/PA)

Mardell is the third celebrity to be announced as part of the line-up after DJ and presenter Rickie Haywood-Williams and podcaster Rosie Ramsey were revealed on Wednesday.

Haywood-Williams, who will be partnered with professional dancer Luba Mushtuk, admitted he had always said he would be “too scared” to do the show but feels he is ready to give his all to the festive special.

Meanwhile, Ramsey will be partnered with Neil Jones, following in the footsteps of her husband and podcast co-host, comedian Chris Ramsey, who competed in the 2019 series of Strictly.

When her participation was revealed on BBC Morning Live on Wednesday, she told the programme: “I watched Chris do it in 2019. I was insanely jealous.

“So as soon as I got asked to do this, I just grabbed it with both hands.”

The Chris and Rosie Ramsey show
Rosie Ramsey is following in the footsteps of her husband, Chris Ramsey, by taking part in the show (Ian West/PA)

The show will see six couples perform festive-inspired routines in a bid to be crowned Christmas champion 2022.

Judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke and Shirley Ballas will also return for the special episode.

– The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Christmas Day.