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Strictly Come Dancing - The Contestants

Strictly Come Dancing: The contestants

Strictly Come Dancing: The contestants

Find out who will be dancing their way to become the champion of Strictly Come Dancing 2009.

Strictly Come Dancing: The contestants

The Girls

Ali Bastian
Ali Bastian

A fan of the show, Ali is most looking forward to the frocks: "I have watched Strictly Come Dancing for the last few years and have always wanted to take part. I know it's probably a girly cliché but I just can't wait to wear all the beautiful dresses.

Lynda Bellingham

Lynda Bellingham

Having kept her involvement in the show a secret, Lynda is not sure she'll get a positive reaction from her family: "At the moment my sons have no idea that I'm involved. I think they'll be horrified when they discover what's going on!

Natalie Cassidy

Natalie CassidyNatalie Cassidy

Ambitious and determined, Natalie says: "I am going to win. I feel like I've won already! I'm going to give this show 250% and am in it to win it!"

Martina Hingis

Martina Hingis

Martina thinks her sporting experience will stand her in good-stead for the show: "I should be good with the training as I am used to working very hard for many hours to perfect my sport."

Jade Johnson

Jade Johnson

Jade says: "I once appeared as the mystery guest on A Question Of Sport and had to perform as Beyonce to the song Crazy In Love. It was an absolute nightmare, I told myself after that experience that I would never do anything that involved choreography in the future!"

Zoe Lucker

Zoe Lucker

A big Strictly aficionado, Zoe is looking forward to the Latin dances and the sparkly costumes.

Laila Rouass

Laila Rouass

A big Strictly aficionado, Zoe is looking forward to the Latin dances and the sparkly costumes.

Jo Wood

Jo Wood

Jo describes her mum as being Strictly's biggest fan and is most keen not to let her down her when she dances on the show.

The Boys

Joe Calzaghe
Joe Calzaghe

The Italian Dragon's fierce determination in the ring now extends to the dance floor: he may have hung up his boxing gloves, but he's hoping to knock out the competition in this year's Strictly Come Dancing and add the glitter ball trophy to his collection!

Richard Dunwoody

Richard Dunwoody

In becoming the first jockey to foxtrot across the Strictly dance floor, Richard hopes that, with the luck of the Irish, he will be galloping all the way to the final.

Ricky Groves

Ricky Groves

Feeling like "the cat that got the cream" having been asked to take part in the show, Ricky is fulfilling an ambition of learning to dance that began when he first saw Saturday Night Fever and dreamed of becoming John Travolta's character.

Chris Hollins

Chris Hollins

While Chris is delighted about the prospect of learning to dance, there's one thing he's more excited about: "I'm looking forward to meeting my all time hero: Mr Bruce Forsyth!"

Craig Kelly

Craig Kelly

Craig says: "Last year I watched the series and said it was the only show like this I would appear on. And here I am! It looks like a lot of fun and like a huge adventurous challenge and I was a fan of the show for many years."

Phil Tufnell

Phil Tufnell

With no previous dance experience Phil says: "My wife Dawn isn't too impressed with my moves. She would give me five out of 10 and that's her being generous!"

Ricky Whittle

Ricky Whittle

Hoping to look impressive on the Strictly dance floor, Ricky would love to receive a perfect 40 from the Strictly judges.

Rav Wilding

Rav Wilding

Excited about the challenge of Strictly, Rav also has some reservations: "I've got massive thighs and have already burst out of three suits."

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Steve Backshall: Strictly Come Dancing was exhausting
Steve Backshall says Strictly Come Dancing has taken its toll upon his physique. The naturalist, who left the show this weekend after losing the dance-off to Sunetra Sarker, said that the gruelling training regime had left him feeling exhausted.

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