Belfast Telegraph

Christine Bleakley to star in Strictly Come Dancing

Northern Ireland’s Christine Bleakley will soon be learning the difference between the Salsa and the Samba.

For the co-host of the BBC’s One Show has just been confirmed as a contestant on the popular programme Strictly Come Dancing.

The 27-year-old stunner will swop the comfort of her One Show sofa for the dazzling dance floor of Strictly, which returns to our television screens in three weeks time.

Last weekend it was rumoured the Co Down girl was one of the celebrities taking part in the show, although the BBC refused to confirm any details of the participants ahead of an expected announcement today. A spokeswoman for Christine confirmed she would be tripping the light fantastic in the upcoming series.

Other names reported to be joining Christine in the ballroom dancing challenge include ex-Eastenders star Jessie Wallace, chef Gary Rhodes, former BBC political correspondent John Sergeant and ex-S Club singer Rachel Stevens.

Christine won’t be the first Northern Irish celebrity to slip on her dancing shoes and pair off with one of the show’s professionals.

In series three in 2005 television presenter Gloria Hunniford and snooker champion Dennis Taylor both took part. That series was eventually won by Darren Gough.

Other past winners include cricketer Mark Ramprakash, former Eastenders actress Jill Halfpenny and last year’s winner, pop star Alesha Dixon.

Up to 12 million viewers tuned in last December to see Alesha and her dance partner Matthew Culter crowned champions.

Christine began her television career at BBc Northern Ireland, where she hosted such shows as Let me Entertain You and First Stop. But she became a national household name when she took over as co-presenter of prime-time The One Show on BBC1 each week night.

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