The new Ed Balls? Rev Richard Coles announced for Strictly 2017

Carla Harmon
August 11, 2017

The Rev Coles, who was born in Northamptonshire and is the vicar of St Mary's Church in Finedon where he lives with his partner David, will be hitting the dancefloor alongside the other already confirmed celebrities - actress Gemma Atkinson, This Morning presenter Ruth Langsford, EastEnders star Davood Ghadami and The Saturdays singer Mollie King.

Atkinson - who previously starred in Hollyoaks and Emmerdale - made the announcement on Twitter, saying: "Finally, I don't have to lie anymore".

Speaking live on the show, Rev Coles admitted: "I haven't really had a Strictly journey yet". Best known for his role as Kush Kazemi in EastEnders, Davood said, "Having the opportunity to take part in this year's Strictly is such an honour. It'll be a welcome change worrying about my next hot move instead of my next hot flush!"

"I am honoured to be asked and so thrilled to be joining Strictly Come Dancing 2017!" said Gemma, "I'm beyond excited and incredibly nervous but I am looking forward to learning a new skill in ballroom and latin dancing and taking on this new challenge".

'I told Frankie (Bridge) and when I called her she was driving and she was so excited she had to pull in!

Strictly returns to BBC One this autumn.

She confessed that she would love to make it to the Strictly final, adding: "My aim it's just to not go out first, I would love to go to the final, absolutely".

It will be the first series without Len Goodman on the judging panel but there is a very exciting replacement. In other reality TV news, he finished fifth on Celebrity MasterChef a year ago. I just can't wait!'

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