LET'S TANGO EastEnders legend Nigel Harman and tennis star Annabel Croft confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing

FORMER EastEnders star Nigel Harman and tennis legend Annabel Croft have been announced for Strictly Come Dancing.

The soap hunk was officially confirmed on today's edition of Lorraine, saying: "I'm excited to be out and proud now."

Nigel Harman has joined Strictly Come Dancing

Nigel Harman has joined Strictly Come Dancing

Tennis legend Annabel Croft will hope to serve up an ace on the dancefloor

Tennis legend Annabel Croft will hope to serve up an ace on the dancefloor

Nigel's character Dennis Rickman married his adopted sister Sharon in EastEnders

Nigel's character Dennis Rickman married his adopted sister Sharon in EastEnders

He told Christine Lampard: "I think I'm realising since I said yes to it, in my my mind, I think I'm a better dancer than my body tells me."

His Casualty co-star and former Strictly star Charles Venn had some sage advice for him, too.

Nigel said: "He took me aside and got really serious and said 'you've got to do cardio'.

"He said 'there's nothing else to do than just be yourself'."

The actor, whose birthday is tomorrow, is feeling a mix of nerves and excitement ahead of taking to the dancefloor.

He added: "I'm amazed, excited, and terrified to be doing Strictly. As an armchair fan of the show I have watched in awe as people have twirled and gyrated across the screen. And now it's my turn.....gulp!"

The 49-year-old heartthrob played Dennis Rickman on Albert Square, who married his adopted sister Sharon, played by Letitia Dean. 

Nigel's EastEnders character was killed off in 2006 when he was stabbed on New Year's Day and died in Sharon's arms.

He went on to star in Downton Abbey as evil valet Mr Green. The character was at the centre of a violent rape scene involving lady's maid Anna, played by Joanne Froggatt.

These days Nigel can be seen on BBC soap Casualty playing doctor Max Christie.

The actor has had limited dance experience in his career having performed in 2014's I Can't Sing! The X Factor Musical.

Meanwhile former British number one Annabel is now better knwon for her punditry at Wimbledon for the BBC.

She said: “I have always loved watching Strictly and can’t quite believe I’m going to be part of this magical show – swapping tennis balls for glitter balls and looking forward to finding some joyfulness in the process.”

At 15 years old, Annabel was the youngest British player to compete at Wimbledon for 95 years.

She also represented Great Britain in prestigious Wightman and Federation Cup competitions.

Outside of tennis, Annabel has fronted entertainment shows such as Treasure Hunt and Inceptor and enjoyed a long broadcasting career covering all the major tennis events worldwide.

Yesterday ex-Coronation Street star Ellie Leach, Paralympian Jody Cundy and EastEnders' Bobby Brazier were announced.

Actress Ellie, 22, was confirmed on BBC Breakfast and is raring to get started in the rehearsal room.

She said: “It still doesn’t feel real that I’m going to be doing Strictly. It’s always been a dream of mine so I guess dreams really do come true.” 

Ellie is best known for playing Corrie's Faye Windass for 12 years.

She has been nominated for multiple British Soap Awards and Inside Soap Awards for hard-hitting storylines including being pregnant at 13, discovering she was going through the menopause and reconnecting with the child she gave up, which led to her departing the cobbles earlier this year. 

Prior to Coronation Street, Ellie appeared in independent movie A Boy Called Dad and drama Moving On.

Jody, 44, shared his news on Radio 5 Live, saying: "I've spent my life in Lycra so that bit doesn't scare me, it's the dancing that scares me."

The sports star added: “Excited to be welcomed into the Strictly family and throw myself head first into the world of ballroom dancing.

“So far away from what I’m used to, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and pushing myself way out of my comfort zone, especially as I’m always last onto the dance floor” Can’t wait to get stuck in, bring on the glitter and sequins!”

Jody Cundy is a decorated World and Paralympic Champion, he has represented Great Britain at seven Summer Paralympics winning eight Gold, one Silver and three Bronze medals across swimming and cycling events.

In 2009 he was awarded an MBE for his services to Disability sport, in 2017 this was upgraded to an OBE for his services to Swimming & Cycling & in 2022 he received a CBE for services to cycling.

EastEnders' Freddie Slater actor Bobby Brazier, 20, said of joining the show: “I’m so excited to be part of the Strictly line up, I can’t wait to start training like a professional dancer and adding a few moves to my locker. I'm looking forward to performing in-front of everyone, it's going to be so much fun!”

The son of Jade Goody and Jeff Brazier is also a successful model having worked with Dolce & Gabbana before joining Enders.

Ex-Emmerdale star Adam Thomas and BBC Asian Network's Breakfast Show host Nikita Kanda were announced yesterday.

Speaking about taking part, Adam said: "I am so excited to be joining the cast of this years' Strictly Come Dancing. I've been such a big fan of the show for years, I can't believe I'm actually doing it!

“I can't dance to save my life but I'm buzzing to learn and have a good laugh with my pro. Get me on that dance floor...I can't wait!"

Nikita, who has also fronted The One Show and interviewed stars from Bridgerton actress Kate Sharma to pop star Nick Jonas, said she "can't believe" she will be starring in this year's BBC One dancing competition, having grown up watching the flagship show.

Announcing the news on her Tuesday morning radio show, she said: "I'm literally shaking, I can't believe this. I've grown up watching this show every single year glued to the TV like many of you at home.

"This has been the biggest secret ever, it's been so hard to keep this in and today I feel relieved, I've finally let this out and sharing this moment with you.

"I just can't wait for the glitz, the glamour, the hair, the makeup, the outfits, and even to meet those judges.

"Who would have thought all those years of me raving it up on the dance floor, at those weddings and those nights out and parties, those moves are making it to the Strictly ballroom stage on BBC One."

Actor Adam made his breakthrough on ITV’s Emmerdale as Adam Barton, and finished third in 2016’s I’m A Celebrity.

Adam's twin brother is Love Island star Scott and their brother Ryan, 39, was in Coronation Street.

He married long-term girlfriend Caroline Daly six years ago.

They have daughter Elsie-Rose, five, and son Teddy, eight, who also plays his son on Waterloo Road.

Speaking previously about rumours of him signing for Strictly, he joked: “Bring it all on. I love a bit of glitz and glam.

"I just want to experience the Strictly curse.”

Nikita took over the Breakfast Show in January after two years at the Asian Network.

Zara McDermott has also been announced for the show, making historyas the first ever Love Island star to land a place.

She joins actress Amanda Abbington, Bad Education star Layton Williams, Strictly's oldest-ever star Angela Rippon, journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy, comedian Eddie Kadi and Irish TV presenter Angela Scanlon.

Nigel plays doctor Max Christie in Casualty

Nigel plays doctor Max Christie in Casualty

Bobby Brazier has also been signed for this year's series

Bobby Brazier has also been signed for this year's series

Ellie Leach can't wait to get dancing

Ellie Leach can't wait to get dancing

Jody Cundy will take to the dancefloor later in the year

Jody Cundy will take to the dancefloor later in the year

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