Entertainment & Arts

Strictly Come Dancing signs up youngest professional

L to R: AJ Pritchard, Chloe Hewitt and Neil Jones
Image caption L to R: AJ Pritchard, Chloe Hewitt and Neil Jones are Strictly's latest new arrivals

Strictly Come Dancing has signed up its youngest professional dancer for when the show returns this autumn.

Chloe Hewitt, 20, was aged eight when Strictly Come Dancing began airing on BBC One in 2004.

She will be joined in the professional line-up by her dance partner AJ Pritchard, with whom she appeared on Britain's Got Talent in 2013.

Neil Jones, whose wife Katya was added to the line-up last month, completes the trio of new arrivals.

Hewitt, who was born in Chester, took up dancing lessons after watching Strictly as a child.

Last year she and Pritchard, 21, were crowned British Open Youth Latin Champions and also European Youth Latin Champions.

Over their nine-year competitive career they have been the National Youth Latin Champions for three years in a row, from 2012 to 2014.

Image caption Katya Jones, Gorka Marquez and Oksana Platero will also make their debuts in the autumn

"My childhood dream of being on Strictly Come Dancing is now reality," Hewitt said.

"The sheer excitement is exhilarating and I cannot wait to be part of the Strictly family."

Jones is the undefeated four-time British National Champion and the three-time winner of the World Amateur Latin Championships with wife Katya.

"We are very excited that three British champions are joining the Strictly family," said Louise Rainbow, Strictly's executive producer.

The other male professionals on the new series are Kevin Clifton, Brendan Cole, Anton Du Beke, Pasha Kovalev, Gorka Marquez, Giovanni Pernice and Aljaz Skorjanec.

Joanne Clifton, Karen Clifton, Natalie Lowe, Janette Manrara and Oti Mabuse round out the female professional contingent.

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