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EastEnders actress Kellie Bright confirms Strictly bid

EastEnders star Kellie Bright will be the third celebrity waltzing on to Strictly Come Dancing.

The 39-year-old actress, best known for playing Linda Carter alongside Danny Dyer on the BBC1 soap, will show off her skills on the dancefloor alongside previously announced contestants Ainsley Harriott and Jeremy Vine.

"There are two main reasons I want to take part in this year's Strictly Come Dancing. The first is that as I will be turning 40 next year, I think it is the perfect time for a new, exciting challenge," she said.

"The second reason is because if I said 'no' Linda Carter would never forgive me!" she added.

Bright's involvement was announced live on The Chris Evans Show on BBC Radio 2, with further contestants to be revealed in coming days.

The new series of Strictly Come Dancing will start on BBC1 in September.

Despite winning awards for her portrayal of Queen Vic landlady Linda in EastEnders, Bright - whose previous roles included children's television series T-Bag and sitcom The Upper Hand - is considered an outsider to win by bookmakers.

Vine leads the predictions with Coral offering odds of 25-1, with Bright on 50-1 and Harriott at 40-1.

Coral spokesman John Hill said: "We expect Kellie to be very popular as she moves from the Old Vic to the Strictly dancefloor. However, at this stage, she is a big outsider to win the show according to the betting.

"We've already seen our first gamble of the new series as Jeremy Vine has been very well backed since he was announced as a contestant."

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