James Cracknell OBE is our 14th Strictly celebrity for 2019
James Cracknell a former rowing World champion said, “I’m really looking forward to being a part of Strictly this year. Having spent so many years mucking around in a rowing boat with big men in tight lycra, it’s time I learned a new skill. I need to apologise to my kids in advance for the embarrassment.”
James is a double Olympic Gold Medallist, who won his medals in the 2000 Sydney Games and 2004 Athens Games alongside team mates Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent.
Since retiring James has carried out dangerous and gruelling challenges including The Race Across the Atlantic, where he and Ben Fogle finished first, and the Yukon Arctic Ultra, cycling over 430 miles in the race across the frozen Alaskan countryside becoming the highest placed Briton ever finishing 12th. In 2010, James attempted to cross America by cycling, running, rowing and swimming in record time. It was during this trip that James suffered a near fatal accident after being struck from behind by a truck while cycling through Arizona.
After a difficult six-month recovery period, James went to the Canadian Yukon, completing The Coldest Race on Earth. James is the BBC’s commentator for Rowing, and was heavily involved in the coverage for the Rio Olympics in 2016. He has more recently become the oldest ever Boat Race champion at 46 as part of Cambridge University’s crew as they rowed to victory at the 165th Boat Race. He has also just finished studying for his Masters in Philosophy from Cambridge University.
James joins footballer David James, comedian Chris Ramsey, EastEnders star Emma Barton, social media star Saffron Barker, actress Catherine Tyldesley, BBC Breakfast's Mike Bushell, CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual, Viscountess Emma Weymouth, RuPaul Drag Race's Michelle Visage, Paralympic champion Will Bayley, Made In Chelsea's Jamie Laing, footballer and presenter Alex Scott and DJ Dev Griffin in our line-up this year.