Alex Jones, Robbie Savage and Russell Grant in Strictly

The celebrities in rehearsal for their first show

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Three Welsh names are to strut their stuff in this year's series of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

One Show presenter Alex Jones follows co-host and Strictly finalist Matt Baker, and Gwynedd-based TV astrologer Russell Grant is joining her.

Former Wales and footballer Robbie Savage is the latest Welsh sportsman to put on his dancing shoes for primetime.

Previous sports stars include rugby's Gavin Henson, athlete Colin Jackson and champion boxer Joe Calzaghe.

It gives Wales a strong showing in the 14-strong cast of the 2011 series, which includes another champion boxer, Audley Harrison, as well as the former Tory MP Edwina Currie and the actress-turned-singer Holly Valance.

The line-up also includes Italian property lawyer Nancy Dell'Olio, the former partner of ex-England and current Leicester City football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, where Savage played in his Premier League days.

Robbie Savage (left), Alex Jones and Russell Grant Robbie Savage, Alex Jones and Russell Grant

The showbiz line-up also includes Jason Donovan, Lulu, and former EastEnders star Anita Dobbs.

Alex Jones said taking part will be a chance for her to "stretch my legs" away from the One Show couch as well as to put on dresses that were "the ultimate girlie glamour".

She said: "Matt has not shut up since the day I told him I was taking part in Strictly. He has a line of advice for absolutely everything from what to eat, who to be partnered with, to hopping on one leg for balance.

"I go to bed hearing Matt Baker's voice. I think when I'm practising with my partner, we'll see Matt's head bobbing at the window taking notes on me."

Savage's career began as a youngster at Manchester United alongside Wales footballing legend Ryan Giggs, and his clubs included Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City, while he also won 39 caps for Wales.

He said he was expecting "stick" from footballers and fans alike.

He said: "I think Lee Dixon, Kevin Keegan and Chris Moyles will be the worst culprits. Plus, no doubt I'll get some stick on Twitter from the likes of Rio Ferdinand.

"I know they're all going to hammer me but I'm ready for it."

Start Quote

My mother would kill me if I talk back to the judges. She calls me up on the radio regularly to tell me off”

End Quote Robbie Savage Former footballer

His transfer from the pitch to the poise of the ballroom may perplex some fans who remember him as a combative player with history of collecting yellow cards.

He has since carved out a career as a BBC 5 Live pundit and co-presenter of 606.

But Wrexham-born Savage pledged to hold his tongue if criticised by judges Len Goodman, Alesha Dixon, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli.

He said: "One thing my mother taught me is to respect your elders and respect people who know what they are doing.

"If the judges dis' me, who am I to tell them what they're doing? I'd never argue off the field, it's not who I am.

"My mother would kill me if I talk back to the judges. She calls me up on the radio regularly to tell me off."

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