Judge Craig Revel Horwood reveals the celebrity dancers he believes will excel in this year's Strictly Come Dancing… and those who won't!
Craig Revel Horwood is infamous for his caustic comments on Strictly. The new series hasn’t even started yet, and already he’s got some gems in the bag…
Who’s Craig, 51, talking about when he says: “She’s a slow learner” or “Can she dance – I don’t think so!” All is revealed below…
Leave Right Now singer Will Young, 37, famously stood up to Simon Cowell’s criticism in 2001 before winning the first series of Pop Idol. Will he be as forthright with the Strictly judges? Craig hopes so, saying: “Bring it on!”
He adds: “He’s got a fantastic personality and will really throw himself into it. I’m so pleased Will said yes.”
Birds of a Feather star Lesley, 70, is used to making us laugh. Hopefully her dancing skills won’t! She recently played Miss Hannigan in a stage production of Annie. But Craig thinks the fast pace of Strictly will be too much…
Craig says: “I’ve seen her in rehearsals for Annie and she’s a very slow learner. But she’ll be desperately funny and will put her acting shoulder behind the dancing so we’ll see lots of fun stuff.”
Best known for playing Mark ‘Dodger’ Savage in Hollyoaks, Danny Mac, 28, has also starred in the West End’s Wicked. Craig predicts Danny will become the housewives’ favourite…
Craig says: “I think he’s going to run away with it, as long as his nerves don’t get the better of him. I think he’ll be the housewives’ favourite as well. He’s gorgeous!”
BBC sports presenter, Ore Oduba, 29, started out on CBBC’s Newsround. He’s hoping to make headlines as a natural jiver and not be relegated early in the competition…
Craig says: “I don’t know much about Ore but BBC sports presenter Chris Hollins won in the past. He’ll have to show his personality off and get out there!”
Former member of girl band Eternal Louise Redknapp, 41, is used to performing dance routines. But can the So You Think You Can Dance judge actually dance? And will her famous footballer husband, Jamie, be cheering in the audience?
Craig says: “She’s had some training so I’m looking forward to seeing her and hope she doesn’t disappoint. Louise is quite laidback, however, so that could go against her.”
English model Daisy Lowe, 27, is bound to strike a pose on the dance floor and perhaps her famous stepmother Gwen Stefani will give her pointers…
Craig says: “She’s tall and gorgeous but can she dance? I don’t think so. She’s just used to posing. It will be interesting to see if she can put one foot in front of the other in time.”
The 47-year-old US pop star is a former professional dancer. But could the I’m Outta Love singer be wrong footed by classic ballroom moves?
Craig says: “I think Anastacia will be very good. Last year she told me she’d never do Strictly because she’d be too nervous to dance in front of me, but now she’ll have to!”
As EastEnders Kim Fox, Tameka, 39, always gives a fiery performance. Will the same be said for her tango? Or will the former comedian’s dancing have the judges in stitches?
Craig says: “I absolutely love her! I don’t know if she can dance but she had great natural rhythm in Beautiful Thing playing someone who thought she was Mama Cass. She’ll be fun.”
Former Labour MP Ed, 59, faces a cha-cha-challenge to win over voters with his dancing. Will he cause controversy on the dance floor?
Craig says: “I’m really looking forward to Ed Balls. I can’t wait to see him in a tight, pink Lycra outfit doing a rumba. Let’s hope that’s his first dance!”
It wouldn’t be Strictly without a BBC Breakfast presenter. Can Naga, 41, follow in the footsteps of 2004 winner Natasha Kaplinsky?
Craig says: “Naga’s got a great personality, but people who come from sitting on sofas for morning television generally don’t do very well. I think she’ll fight back and challenge me!”
Multi-talented Melvin, 36, is a comedian, DJ and TV presenter. Will he add dancer to his list of skills?
Craig says: “DJs generally have a good sense of rhythm and sense of music, so that’s a good start for Melvin.”
Bristol-born Olympic gymnast Claudia, 18, is this year’s youngest contestant. Will her natural nimbleness help her to win? Standing at 4ft 6in we doubt she’ll be paired with the taller professional dancers!
Craig says: “She’s tiny! But it means she’ll be able to do lots of lifts and, being a gymnast, has core strength and rhythm. Whether or not she has any personality is the thing – without it you get put in the dance gutter.”
TV presenter Laura, 31, began her career as an MTV presenter. Will her love of music help her move in time on the dance floor?
Craig says: “I don’t know much about Laura, but I think she’ll be okay. She looks good, and that’s half the battle, isn’t it?”
Olympic long-jumper Greg, 29 is used to giving it his all and is determined to go for gold on Strictly…
Craig says: “Fantastic personality, great Olympian star and a hot ginger! I think the audience will fall in love with him. I just hope he doesn’t have two left feet… that would be a disaster.”
Judge Robert Rinder
Professional barrister and TV judge Robert, 38, has made headlines since being announced for Strictly. Will there be murder on, and off, the dance floor with this controversy-courting contestant?
Craig says: “Judge Rinder should be a lot of fun! I’m told he’s fitness mad and very competitive, so things could be quite feisty between us. Handbags at dawn!”
The 15 new celebrities in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing have been practising dance steps, topping up their tans and pouring themselves into tight glittery costumes as they prepare for the big Strictly launch show this Saturday.
Discover which celebrity has been paired with which professional dancer on Saturday September 3 at 6.50pm on BBC1.