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Smash-hit show Strictly for under 60s

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Debbie McGee (Ian West/PA)

Debbie McGee (Ian West/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Debbie McGee (Ian West/PA)

The new series of Strictly Come Dancing will feature no contestants over the age of 60.

It is only the second time this has happened in the show's 14 years on television.

The oldest celebrity taking part will be 58-year-old Debbie McGee, TV personality and widow of magician Paul Daniels.

Other 50-somethings include This Morning presenter Ruth Langsford as well as actor and comedian Brian Conley.

By contrast, last year saw 70-year-old Lesley Joseph set the record for the oldest woman ever to appear on Strictly.

The show usually includes in its line-up at least one contestant who is in their sixties or above.

This peaked in 2010 when no fewer than five celebrities were aged 60 or over, including politician and novelist Ann Widdecombe (62), actress Felicity Kendal (64) and Paul Daniels, who was 72 at the time.

This year is the only occasion, apart from 2015, when all the participants have been below 60.

Belfast Telegraph