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Irish eyes smile on Daniel O'Donnell as Ruby Murray song is his first Strictly dance


Daniel and his Strictly partner Kristina Rihanoff

Daniel and his Strictly partner Kristina Rihanoff

Legendary Belfast singer Ruby Murray

Legendary Belfast singer Ruby Murray

Daniel and his Strictly partner Kristina Rihanoff

Daniel O'Donnell and Kristina Rihanoff will waltz to Ruby Murray's version of When Irish Eyes Are Smiling for their first dance on Strictly.

The pair, who have been holed up in rehearsals for weeks, discovered their fate after show bosses revealed the running order for tomorrow's show.

Daniel's debut dance is fitting since Murray was born on the Donegall Road in south Belfast in 1939. She was one of the biggest singing sensations of the 1950s and died in 1996.

The bookies' favourite, pop star Peter Andre, will dance the cha-cha with partner Janette Manrana to Christina Aguilera's Ain't No Other Man.

Actress Helen George, who has the best odds of the female contestants, will perform a waltz with partner Aljaz Skorjanec to With You I'm Born Again by Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright.

Newsreader Jeremy Vine, expected to be one of the first to leave, will dance the cha-cha to September by Earth, Wind And Fire alongside partner Karen Clifton.

Weather presenter Carol Kirkwood and her partner Pasha Kovalev, meanwhile, will also dance a cha-cha, but to Leo Sayer's Thunder In My Heart. Boxer Anthony Ogogo and his partner Oti Mabuse, who have denied rumours of a falling-out, will have to do a jive to Wham's Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.

Six couples will dance tomorrow night, with the remaining nine taking to the dance floor on Saturday evening.

Judges Len Goodman, Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood will critique the celebrities, although none of the couples will leave this weekend.

Strictly Come Dancing airs on Friday at 9pm and Saturday at 6.15pm on BBC One.

Belfast Telegraph