The wait is over... The class of Strictly Come Dancing 2016 is finally compete with Tameka Empson, Lesley Joseph and Greg Rutherford confirmed for this year's line-up. But who's got what it takes to lift the glitterball trophy?
EastEnders actress Tameka Empson, Birds of a Feather star Lesley Joseph and Olympic long-jumper Greg Rutherford are the final three celebrities to complete the line-up for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.
The trio were exclusively revealed by Alex Jones and Patrick Kielty on Monday evening’s edition of The One Show.
Best known for playing Kim Fox in EastEnders, bubbly Tameka admitted: “It’s been so hard trying to keep the secret. I have been avoiding every group conversation. I have been avoiding telephone calls. It’s just mad!”
Tameka’s no stranger to dancing – she got to final of Let’s Dance For Comic Relief in 2012, with co-star Laurie Brett, dancing a routine to Lady Gaga’s Telephone.
Meanwhile, Birds star Lesley contemplated who her Strictly dance partner might be. “I love Kevin [Clifton]. I’m not saying I’d want to be partnered with him… but I LOVE Kevin! I just can’t wait to get started now – but I know once we start it’s gonna take over my life!”
Lesley Joseph (centre) with her Birds of a Feather co-stars Pauline Quirke and Linda Robson
Fresh from winning bronze in the long-jump for Team GB at the Rio Olympics, Greg revealed: “I’m terrified. This is something I’ve never done. I’ve never danced a step in my life. I’m hoping I can get a very good partner who can teach me a lot because, truly, I have no idea what I’m doing. It’s going to be truly terrifying.”
Earlier on Monday, it was revealed that criminal barrister Robert Rinder, star of ITV’s daytime courtroom reality show, Judge Rinder, has also signed up.
Robert told BBC Radio 1’s Scott Mills: “The only thing I knew would make my grandmother more proud than watching my TV courtroom was to see me dressed up in white tie doing the foxtrot.
“So although I suspect the latter will be far more difficult, I am doing Strictly Come Dancing for her.”
Robert, Tameka, Lesley and Greg join the 11 celebrities who have already been announced. They are singers Anastacia, Will Young and Louise Redknapp, ex-Hollyoaks favourite Danny Mac, ex-I’m A Celebrity… Get me out of Here Now! presenter Laura Whitmore and former Xtra Factor host and Kiss FM DJ Melvin Odoom.
Also putting on their dancing shoes will be BBC Breakfast host Naga Munchetty, sports broadcaster Ore Oduba, former shadow chancellor Ed Balls, model Daisy Lowe and Olympic gymnast Claudia Fragapane.
This year’s Strictly Come Dancing – hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman – begins on Saturday September 3 on BBC1.