Entertainment & Arts

Joe McFadden: Strictly 2018 'ticks every box'

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Media captionStrictly Come Dancing celebrity stars share their hopes and fears.

The roster of celebrities for the 2018 Strictly Come Dancing series "ticks every box" despite claims that it is not the strongest line-up, says last year's winner Joe McFadden.

The actor said there is somebody for everybody in the new crop of contestants.

Katie Piper, Ashley Roberts, Vick Hope and Kate Silverton led the celebrities at the sequin-studded launch in London on Monday night.

The BBC show begins on September 8.

Full line up: Strictly Come Dancing 2018

Former Holby City star McFadden said: "It's a fantastic line-up.

"There is someone off Casualty, there is a presenter, there's a Paralympian... it ticks every box for me."

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Image caption BBC Broadcasting House hosted the red carpet launch on Monday
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Image caption Strictly presenters Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly

Craig Revel Horwood, one of the judges on the programme also defended the line-up.

He said he believes the show - which is now on its 16th series - will see same-sex couples competing "eventually", adding: "I think more and more people want it.

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Image caption The Strictly judges: Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli

"I have no argument against it. I think it would be rather fun. Maybe the BBC will be brave enough one day to do it."

Meanwhile, contestant and Steps singer Faye Tozer said she was "over the moon" at taking part in the show.

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Image caption Casualty actor and former EastEnders star Charles Venn, with Steps singer Faye Tozer

"For me it's all the dresses, the costumes, the themes, getting to dance with a partner, learning a new skill. It's just a beautiful show to be on," she said.

YouTube vlogger Joe Sugg, who is the younger brother of beauty blogger Zoella, said he expected "the majority of people not to have a clue who I am, which is fine".

"Hopefully when it starts they will get to know me and think I'm all right."

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Image caption Internet personality Joe Sugg with former model Katie Piper

He added that his moves "aren't great" at the moment and said he has "a lot of work to do".

Former England cricketer Graeme Swann said he "had never been more nervous" for the competition - "apart from my wedding day".

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Image caption Capital FM presenter Vick Hope and former England bowler Graeme Swann

And speaking at the show's launch at London's BBC Broadcasting House, Lee Ryan, from boy band Blue, said being on such a huge programme was "daunting" and said he was "a bit worried".

"It is such a big show and you know there is going to be a lot of media attention," he said, adding: "I'm quite competitive as well so I will want to improve."

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Image caption TV stylist Susannah Constantine and Blue singer Lee Ryan

TV fashion stylist Susannah Constantine said she had some demands about the costumes she would be willing to wear during the competition, such as keeping her arms covered, adding: "I'm very happy to be kind of matronly a little bit, but colourful."

Other celebrities taking part include former Pussycat Dolls singer Ashley Roberts, who has presented on Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway and was a guest judge on BBC talent show Let It Shine.

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Image caption Dr Ranj Singh and Ashley Roberts at the launch outside the BBC on Monday

TV medic Dr Ranj Singh is also on the line-up, as is double world champion paratriathlete and silver Paralympic medallist Lauren Steadman.

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Image caption Six times European champion Lauren Steadman and actor Danny John-Jules

Red Dwarf actor Danny John-Jules, comedian Seann Walsh, BBC News presenter Kate Silverton and documentary maker Stacey Dooley are also among the 15 celebrities.

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Image caption Comic Seann Walsh and broadcaster Kate Silverton
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Image caption Presenter and journalist Stacey Dooley, who was recently given an MBE

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