TV & Movies

All The Celebs Rumoured To Be Taking Part In Strictly 2021

Including the government’s chief medical advisor, an S Club alum, & a world-famous football star.


It may seem like a long way off, but blink and the new series of Strictly Come Dancing will be on our TV screens. And it seems as though TV execs are well under way in finding their 2021 cast, allegedly looking at everyone from Tina Barrett to Rio Ferdinand. In fact, these rumoured celebrities for Strictly 2021 may seriously surprise you...

Each year the discussion around which stars will join Strictly get more and more outlandish – but, more often than you’d expect, the rumours turn out to be true. The latest candidate for the Strictly wild card contestant is the country’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty. After finding ‘fame’ during the pandemic, it is said that TV bosses are desperate to secure the government’s chief medical advisor. Well, stranger things have happened...

Aside from Whitty, there are some other (more likely) names being thrown into the mix. These include TV presenter Ben Shephard, Gogglebox’s Tom Malone, and radio host Maya Jama. However, it’s so far unclear which celebrities will say ‘yes’ to the opportunity.

We still have a while to wait to find up just who will be attempting to win the glitterball, with the show not airing until sometime in September or October, if it is to follow the BBC’s usual schedule.

But while we wait for confirmation, we may as well delve into the celebrities who have been mentioned when it comes to the line-up.

Chris Whitty – Rumoured


Yes, you read that right; Strictly bosses are rumoured to be trying to land the Chief Medical Officer for the show later this year. Whitty, who became a recognisable face due to his ongoing presence at COVID press conferences this past year, is apparently “top of the list,” according to sources at The Sun. “Discreet enquiries will be made over the next few weeks. However any decisions would depend on the rate of Covid infections in the country," the insider explained.

Ben Shephard – Rumoured

Numerous publications have fuelled rumours that Shephard will be following in the footsteps of his Good Morning Britain colleagues Susanna Reid, Kate Garraway, and Charlotte Hawkins by stepping onto the dance floor. Shephard has in fact previously expressed interest, saying that he’d “love” to do the show, but joked that his wife “doesn’t want him to have an affair” and get wrapped up in the infamous Strictly curse.

Rio Ferdinand – Rumoured

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The former footballer has apparently been contacted more than once regarding taking part in previous years, according to his friend Gabby Logan, who has been on Strictly before.

“I was trying to persuade Rio Ferdinand. You need to get your producers onto him. I almost had him,” she told guest Tess Daly on her podcast MidPoint. “He said, ‘Did you really enjoy it?’ I said, ‘How often do they ask you?’ He said, ‘Every year’. He'd be incredible, and he's a dancer!”

Perhaps this will be the year he finally caves!

Lucy Fallon – Rumoured

The former Coronation Street actor was apparently approached in previous years to take part in the dancing show, but was unable to commit while still working on the soap. Now she’s left, the rumour mill is rife with news that 2021 may be her year.

Maya Jama – Rumoured

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Jama is another star who’s rumoured to have been in the mix for former series. Asked about taking part this year, she said in September 2020: “I'd never say never to all of these things.” Please Maya, please!

Ralf Little – Rumoured

The Death In Paradise actor sounded like he could be convinced when he was asked about taking part by Hello magazine. “I've been asked to do all of them every year,” he said, before adding: “Never say never!”

He added: “I think, people who participate in Strictly and do well in Strictly, they're learning a real skill, an art form, and there’s something really rewarding about that."

Tina Barrett – Rumoured

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The former S Club 7 member is one of the few celebrities who has openly said she would likely say yes if the show reached out, telling The Sun: “I love Strictly and I’d like to do it. I haven’t been asked to, so if ­any­one at Strictly is ­reading, please let me go on. It would be amazing. I am a bit of a ­glitterball girl.”

Tom Malone – Rumoured

The Gogglebox favourite walked away from the show that made him famous in March 2021 to pursue other opportunities. The break dancer has since told The Express he would consider Strictly if they came calling: “If the opportunity came up to go on Strictly as a contestant, I’ve never done Ballroom in my life, so it’d be interesting to see how as someone who breaks, I’m used to dancing upside down, how those two worlds could come together.”

Angellica Bell – Rumoured


Bell was heavily rumoured to be taking part in 2020, but obviously it never happened. Numerous publications including Digital Spy and RadioTimes have listed her as 2021 potential contestants, so we’ll have to wait and see whether this is her year.