Entertainment & Arts

Strictly Come Dancing: Full line-up confirmed

Strictly Come Dancing's 2012 contestants
Image caption Top row: Pendleton, Salmon, Ball, Smith, Owen, Hall, Walsh. Bottom row: Harmer, Van Outen, Riley, Arnold, Vaughan, Byrne, Britton

Johnny Ball and Fern Britton are among the 14 celebrities who will take part in this year's Strictly Come Dancing.

Also competing are Olympic stars Louis Smith and Victoria Pendleton, model Jerry Hall, Kimberley Walsh of Girls Aloud and cricketer Michael Vaughan.

Denise Van Outen and actor Colin Salmon will take part alongside EastEnders' Sid Owen and Westlife's Nicky Byrne.

Actress Dani Harmer, Daybreak's Richard Arnold and ex-Emmerdale star Lisa Riley will also line up in Saturday's show.

In the first episode the stars will be matched with their professional dance partners.

At 74, former children's TV host Johnny Ball is the oldest competitor to participate in this year's show.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe stars of Strictly Come Dancing speak to the BBC's Lizo Mzimba

His daughter Zoe hosts Strictly's spin-off show It Takes Two, and Ball revealed it had been a challenge keeping his involvement under wraps.

"I kept it secret from Zoe for over six weeks, which I hated doing as we tell each other everything," he said. "She is over the moon with excitement.

"I know that on It Takes Two she will be as impartial as it is possible to be for a girl who loves her dad. For me, the great worry is causing her embarrassment."

Ball and his fellow contestants will hope to follow in the footsteps of McFly drummer Harry Judd, winner of last year's competition.

Sir Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly will return as hosts, while returning judges Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman will be joined by ballet star Darcey Bussell.

Bussell previously appeared as a guest judge on the show and will now become a full-time member of the panel.

Previous panellist Alesha Dixon left at the end of the last series to join ITV1 show Britain's Got Talent.

Saturday's show will feature a red carpet event and a dance number around BBC Television Centre featuring the professional dancers, judges and hosts.

British cyclist Pendleton, who retired from her sport after winning gold and silver medals at the London 2012 Games, had previously spoken of her desire to take part in the show.

She said the show gives her something to "focus on" after the Olympics but admitted she was intimidated by fellow Team GB star Louis Smith.

The gymnast, she said, "can probably dance loads better than I can - and he can do tricks as well. He's going to be flipping onto the dance floor, that's what I imagine.

"I have no dance experience which is slightly concerning," the 31-year-old continued. "People might feel sorry for me - I hope so."

Smith, 23, won a silver medal in the pommel horse event and previously displayed his singing talents as a contestant on The X Factor.

Harmer, best known for playing Tracy Beaker on CBBC, was the first celebrity to be unveiled ahead of the latest Strictly series.

Walsh, whose involvement was confirmed over the weekend, has since tweeted a photo of herself practising with dancer Anton du Beke.

Salmon has appeared in the James Bond and Resident Evil film series, while Riley is known to millions of soap fans as Emmerdale's Mandy Dingle.

Strictly Comes Dancing begins on 15 September on BBC One at 18:30 BST.

Full details of all this year's participants can be found on the show's official website.

More on this story

Around the BBC