Meet the men starring in Strictly Come Dancing 2017 – there’s an ex boybander, a comedian actors and even a man of the cloth…
Ashton Merrygold rose to fame during X Factor as part of the megaband JLS, one of the most successful losing (but winning bands in the history of the show). On joining Strictly he said, “I’m so happy to be joining Strictly 2017, it is such a brilliant show and I’ve followed it for years. I’m both nervous and excited to learn from the professionals about a whole new way of dancing!”
A household name in the field of industry. He is a comedian, actor and television presenter with a career spanning over 40 years. In 1992, Brian got his big break with the hugely successful The Brian Conley Show which went on to become Britain’s most-watched entertainment show at the time, coining his catchphrase: ‘It’s a puppet!’ Brian’s TV career has seen him win multiple awards including a National Television Award for Most Popular Television Performer. He has also performed/presented at the Royal Variety Performance eight times and recently hosted two series of BBC One’s The TV That Made Me. Brian has an extensive theatre career and has starred in many West End Productions; he’s recorded three albums and has acted in six films. He recently finished a sell-out tour of the UK and will star in his thirty-fifth pantomime this Christmas.
Davood is a British actor, best known for his role as Kush Kazemi in EastEnders for which he won Best Newcomer at the TV Choice Awards. He was also nominated for Best Newcomer and Best Actor at the British Soap Awards. Davood has starred in the BBC One show since 2014 and set pulses racing when he joined as Albert Square’s latest ladies’ man. His first TV appearance was in 2005 on The Bill and his other TV work includes Doctor Who, The Omid Djalili Show, Taggart, Silent Witness, Life’s Too Short, Law & Order, Top Boy and Skins Redux. On stage, Davood has played Amir in 13 at the National Theatre, as well as working extensively for York Theatre Royal and Pilot Theatre.
Joe McFadden is a Scottish actor, born in Glasgow and best-known for playing the role of Raffaello ‘Raf’ di Lucca in BBC One’s medical drama, Holby City. He first came to national attention playing PC Joe Mason in Heartbeat and has also appeared in Take the High Road, The Crow Road and Sex, Chips & Rock ‘n’ Roll. In addition to his television roles, Joe also has a background in theatre appearing in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Rent in London’s West End.
Jonnie Peacock is a double Paralympic, World and European T44 100m Champion. He sensationally won his first Paralympic Gold medal in London 2012 in front of 80,000 people and has gone onto to win every major event that he’s entered, including the 2016 Paralympic Games and the 2017 World Championships in London this summer. Jonnie, a below the knee amputee, contracted meningitis at the age of five, but has bounced back to become one of Britain’s best known and most successful Para Athletes, breaking the World Record in 2012, setting a Personal Best for the 100m of 10.64 seconds this year and being awarded an MBE in the 2013 New Year’s Honours for services to athletics. Away from the athletics track Jonnie wants to an inspiration to young people of all abilities and is passionate about building the profile of disability sport both in Britain and around the World.
Reverend Richard Coles
Reverend Richard Coles is a writer, broadcaster and Church of England priest and co-hosts BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live. He is the only Vicar in Britain to have had a number one hit single with pop band The Communards in the 1980s, which went on to have three UK top ten hits and the biggest-selling single of 1986, Don’t Leave Me This Way. Richard recently co-hosted BBC One’s The Big Painting Challenge and is a regular contributor to ‘Pause for Thought’ on the Radio 2 Chris Evans Breakfast Show, BBC One’s Have I Got News For You and QI. Richard was an inspiration for the main character in the BBC hit comedy Rev and served as a consultant to the series. He is Vicar of St Mary’s Church in Finedon, Northamptonshire and Chancellor of the University of Northampton.