Strictly Come Dancing 2016: The Confirmed Line-Up

by | Aug 23, 2016 | All, TV News

So after months of drip-feeding us names from the line-up of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC finally revealed the last three celebrities to compete in this year’s show on last night’s episode of The One Show. If you’re still unsure of who the celebrities are then we at The Custard TV are here to help with this handy guide in which we let you know who all the stars are and analyse whether they’ll be any good.


Who is She? An American singer-songwriter who is best known for her hits ‘I’m Outta Love’ and ‘Left Outside Alone’ who has headlined four sell-out tours and won a European music award.

Why is she competing?: Anastacia says she is a massive fan of the show and has admired the celebrities competing year after year. After being diagnosed with breast cancer twice and having a double mastectomy, Anastacia says she wants to get to know her upper body again.

Will she be any good?: As a trained performer, Anastasca has experience putting on a show and so will definitely have the energy levels it just depends on how easily she masters the technique of each individual dance. We think at the moment she’ll probably go quite far but we can’t see her making the final.

Current Odds: 20/1

Claudia Fragapane 

Who is She?: An gymnast who has just returned from competing in the Rio Olympics. Claudia picked up four gold medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and three successive silver medals at the European Championships. She was also voted Young Sports Personality of the Year. At eighteen she’s this year’s youngest contestant.

Why is she Competing?: Claudia says she sees Strictly Come Dancing as a new challenge and she just wants to go out there and enjoy it.

Will she be any good? Obviously Claudia has to be one of the favourites due to the fact that she has experience of performing energetic routines as part of her career. She also has youth on her side and the last Olympic gymnast to compete on Strictly, Louis Smith, went on to win the Glittterball Trophy back in 2012.

Current Odds: 7/2

Daisy Lowe 

Who is She? Most known for her modelling work for designers such as Tommy Hillfiger, Dolce & Gabana and Vivienne Westwood. Lately Lowe has also transitioned into acting taking the lead role in the thriller Confine as well as a cameo role in the Absolutely Fabulous movie.

Why is She Competing? She loves dancing and is a fan of the show citing Abby Clancy, Caroline Flack and Katie Derham as some of her most favourite contestants.

Will She be Any Good?: Daisy has mentioned her love of dance but at the same time has said she’s never competed in the ballroom and can be incredibly clumsy. However we feel that she’s underselling herself and feel that she is going to be one of this year’s celebs who possesses enough natural rhythm to carry them through to the final stages of the contest.

Current Odds: 10/1

Danny Mac 

Who is he?: An actor best known for his role as charismatic wheeler-dealer Dodger Savage on Hollyoaks. Danny has also appeared in a number of stage productions most notably being part of the cast of both Wicked and Les Miserables.

Why is he Competing?: By the looks of his interview it appears that Danny wants to challenge himself as he feels that, after years behind hiding behind characters, going out on the dancefloor and being himself is going to be terrifying.

Will he be any Good?: In a word yes, Danny trained in drama for two years before attending the Arts Education School, the same institute that Strictly judge Darcy Bussell performed at. With his experience performing in musicals, Danny already has a basic knowledge of dance and must have a good sense of rhythm. We reckon he’ll go far in the competition and may even make the final.

Current Odds: 5/1

Ed Balls 

Who is he?: A former labour MP who most famously held the position of shadow chancellor from 2011 to 2015. Ed has also recently returned to his first love, journalism, writing for The Guardian and is in the process of penning a new book.

Why is he Competing?: Ed has previously said that he’s a fan of the show and presumably wants to prove that he’s more than just a politician. He’s also the first male former MP to appear on the main version of the show.

Will he be any Good?: Although his bio on the Strictly Come Dancing website plays up his background in fitness and sports it’s unlikely that Ed will be getting anywhere near the glitterball. We believe that he may be the sympathetic rubbish dancer that people get behind but it’s more than likely that he won’t last long in the competition.

Current Odds: 66/1

Greg Rutherford 

Who is he?: Just like Claudia, Greg has just returned from the Rio Olympics where he won a bronze medal in the long jump. Most famously Greg was one of the British Olympians who won a Gold Medal on the famous Super Saturday back in London 2012.

Why is he Competing?: Presumably Greg is looking for a new challenge but judging from his appearance on The One Show announcing his participation on the programme he’s more than little nervous about appearing.

Will he be any Good?: We feel that people may be over-estimating Greg’s skill due to the fact he’s an athlete. He’s already claimed that he has zero dance experience although again this may be a bit of false modesty. Although he may win the audience vote a few times based on his Olympic performances, we reckon that Greg may be someone who has an early exit from the competition.

Current Odds: 10/1

Judge Rinder 

Who is he?: A trained criminal barrister, who came to fame fronting an ITV daytime series where he presides over a faux courtroom and attempts to settle minor squabbles between members of the general public. Also not a real judge.

Why is he Competing?: We’re assuming that he wants to show the public a different side to his character other than the one he portrays on his ITV show. Although judging from the comments he’s already made he’s not going to pull any punches and feels confident that he’ll be in the final.

Will he be any Good?: It’s a hard one to call as on one hand he’s got a background in athletics and is trained in drama but on the other hand doesn’t look like he has any natural rhythm. Although we feel that his clashes with the judges and general persona may win over the public enough to make it at least till the halfway point of the competition.

Current Odds: 20/1

Laura Whitmore 

Who is She?: A TV presenter who came to prominence after winning a competition to present links on MTV. Since then she’s mainly been known for hosting the spin-off show to I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here but has also presented red carpet shows from The Brits, The BAFTAs and The MTV Music Awards.

Why is She Competing?: Apparently it’s Laura’s love of dance that has made her take part in Strictly. Despite having no dance training, Laura loves dancing as it plays into her love of music. However she claims to be quite a silly dancer and is looking forward to learning some discipline on the dancefloor.

Will she be any Good?: Laura has to be one of the favourites going in as she’s young, in good shape and probably has some decent natural rhythm. She’s also cool under pressure due to the fact that she has plenty of live TV experience.

Current Odds: 8/1

Lesley Joseph 

Who is She?: An actress who is best known for her role as Dorien Green on Birds of a Feather, a part she’s played on and off for over twenty-five years. She’s also an experience stage actress appearing in productions of Annie, Godspell and Calendar Girls. At seventy years old, Lesley is the oldest female contestant in Strictly Come Dancing history.

Why is she Competing?: It appears that her main motivation for competing in Strictly is that it’s the only show where you’re encouraged to look glamorous. As a competitive person she’s also up for the challenge and feels her biggest weakness will be during the slower dances.

Will she be any Good?: Lesley claims she really would be happy to get to Blackpool and we believe that that’s where she’ll leave the competition. With childhood ballet experience and a background in musical theatre, Lesley may surprise a lot of people and even if she’s not one of the best dancers we feel the public will get behind her as she’s somewhat of a national treasure.

Current Odds: 40/1

Louise Redknapp 

Who is She?: A former popstar who came to prominence as one quarter of girl band Eternal before going solo and having several hits including ‘Naked.’ Nowadays Louise is better known as a presenter and also was a judge on two series of the British version of ‘So You Think You Can Dance?

Why is She Competing?: Louise wants to push herself claiming that she’s not a competitive person as her family is full of competitive males including her husband, former footballer Jamie Redknapp.

Will She be any Good?: Surely Louise has to be the one to beat at the moment. She trained at the Italia Conti Academy, spent years dancing on stage and even judged other people’s dancing on another show that shares a lot of similarities to Strictly. The only thing that may trip Louise up is her supposed nerves but we reckon that she’s almost a shoe-in for the final.

Current Odds: 10/1

Melvin Odoom 

Who is He?: One half of presenting double act Rickie and Melvin, Odoom co-hosts the Kiss FM Breakfast Show as well as recent ITV game show Bang on the Money. He also co-hosted last year’s series of The Xtra Factor and appeared as a team captain on BBC Three panel show Sweat The Small Stuff.

Why is he Competing?: Like a lot of this year’s celebs Melvin has a love of dancing but realises that Strictly presents a whole different challenge.

Will he be Any Good?: Melvin has admitted he loves to dance and has also said that he’s been under a strict training regime since agreeing to take part on Strictly. At the same time we can’t see him being anything more than an average dancer and with the Strictly audience not really being familiar with who Melvin is we suspect that he may be one of the first celebrities to leave the competition.

Current Odds: 20/1

Naga Munchetty 

Who is She?: A former journalist and Channel 4 newsreader who recently took over as a regular host on BBC Breakfast replacing former Strictly Come Dancing finalist Susanna Reid.

Why is she Competing?: She feels that the opportunity to be trained to dance by a brilliant professional is too good an opportunity to pass up. She’s also looking forward to doing something completely different and additionally she’s a massive fan of the show.

Will she be any good?: Naga is one of those unknown commodities with previous BBC Breakfast hosts either excelling or bouncing out of the contest early. Basically we’re hoping that she’s more of a Susanna Reid than a Carol Kirkwood.

Current Odds: 20/1

Ore Oduba 

Who is He?: Another face familiar to those who watch BBC Breakfast on a regular basis, Oduba is the programme’s regular sports correspondent. Additionally Oduba has presented on Radio 5 Live and has more recently been covering the Rio Olympics for the BBC. He’s also no stranger to live Saturday night TV being a regular host of the National Lottery Draws.

Why is he competing?: As a competitive person he’s always looking to push himself and he’s also looking forward to donning the sequined outfits that are required for every Strictly celebrity.

Will he be any Good?: Although he looks like he could be quite energetic, we’re not sure how Ore will get on on the dancefloor. As he’s not quite a household name it’ll be up to him to win over the audience and if he can do that then maybe he’ll go far on Strictly.

Current Odds: 12/1

Tameka Empson 

Who is She?: An actress who is best known for playing Kim Fox on Eastenders on and off since 2010. Empson also has a background in comedy taking part in the sketch show 3 Non Blondes and appearing at the Edinburgh Festival as one of her characters from that show.

Why is She Taking Part?: Tameka has been rumoured for this year’s series for a while now ever since saying it was her dream to take part in the show during a magazine interview. During her reveal on The One Show she also looked like she was up for the mixture of excitement and nerves that Strictly brings.

Will she be any good?: She’ll certainly bring a lot of fun and excitement to the dancefloor and she’ll excel in the Latin dances especially. She’s also instantly recognisable to a lot of the Strictly audience due to her role in Eastenders and we feel that will carry her until at least the halfway point of the competition.

Current Odds: 20/1

Will Young 

Who is he?: A singer who first found fame as the winner of the first series of Pop Idol. Will has won two Brit Awards and two Ivor Novellos and all of his six albums have reached at least No. 2 in the charts. Will is also an actor most famously appearing opposite Judi Dench in Mrs Henderson Presents.

Why is he Taking Part?: He’s a fan of the show and cites Emma Bunton and last year’s winner Jay McGuinness as two of his favourite competitors on the show.

Will he be any good?: Will has got to be one of the favourites for this year’s competition due to his performance skills and general likeability. He also did a term of training at musical theatre college and appeared in Cabaret in 2013 so he has a lot of dance experience to boot. We would actually be surprised if Will Young didn’t make the final come December.

Current Odds: 11/2

Strictly Come Dancing will return with a launch show on the 3rd September where the fifteen celebrities will learn which pro they will be dancing with.

Custard TV Staff

Custard TV Staff


All the latest TV news and TV listings from the staff of the site.


Follow us:

Our Latest Posts:

351: 2022: The year so far.

351: 2022: The year so far.

Luke joins Matt to look at the first seven months of the year including discussions on Sherwood, Barry and The Responder. Listen to "# 351: 2022: The mid-year report"...

Borgen proves TV revivals can work.

Borgen proves TV revivals can work.

Borgen is the best political series on television. It's not an area television drama dabbles in that often. There's the original House of Cards and the Netflix version...


Submit a Comment