Fun Fact : in the five series I’ve been doing the cast reveal posts like this, split by gender, whichever one got the most hits also had the winner in it. So get pointlessly refreshing for your favourites and GIVE ME MORE PAGE VIEWS DAMNIT!
Danny John-Jules : Depending on your age and interests, Danny John-Jules could have been many things to you over the course of his television career. The Cat from Red Dwarf. Barrington from Maid Marian & Her Merry Men. Lenny from MI High. The Story Maker. One of the Tomorrow People in…erm…that The only cast member who’s managed to stick out every single episode of Death In Paradise without going insane, throwing himself into the Carribbean yelling “BUT IT’S OBVIOUS IN THE FIRST FIVE MINUTES OF EVERY EPISODE WHODUNNIT, WHY CAN’T I JUST SAAAAAY ITTTTTTTTTT?! WHY CAN’T I JUST SAY IT WAS KEITH FROM BOYZONE AND THEN GO AND GET A DARK AND STORMY?!”. A quintessential character actor, he’s also, happily, A MASSIVE RINGAH, having originated a role in Starlight Express, choreographed a Wham! video, and most prestigious of all, danced with THE ACTUAL MUPPETS, ON FILM. Kevin Clifton found rotting, you know he’d die for the opportunity. Anyway, all of this makes him at least as qualified to judge as Bruno, and dance as a pro as Janette, so I am very ready for our first official Older Man Ringah, and I expect Shirley Ballas to be handing over an imaginary crown by Week 5 at the very latest.
Joe Sugg :
HELLO TWEET-TWATS, AND WELCOME TO A SPECIAL EMERGENCY EDITION OF SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATE WITH ME, STRICTLY COME DANCING CHAMPION IVETA LUKOSIUTE! MONKSEAL HAS CALLED ME ON WHITE HOUSE PHONE TO COME AND TELL YOU ALL, WITH MY EXPERTISES IN SOCIAL MEDIA, ABOUT JOSEPH SUGG, FOR SPECIAL CONSULTANCY FEE PRICE OF ONLY £5000 (PER WORD) (YOU NOT HIM, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR BANK DETAILS IN THE COMMENTS OR I WELL SEND ICE TO YOUR HOUSES!). IVETA IS HERE TO TALK ABOUT JOSEPH BECAUSE HE IS FIRST MAN EVER TO TUBE YOU AND THEN BE ON STRICTLY COME DANCINGS! I AM HERE TO TELL YOU ABOUT THIS SMALL CHILD WITH MANY MILLIONS OF INTERNET SLAVES, IN CASE YOU ARE BACKWARDS IN WAYS OF TECHNOLOGY, LIKE IVETA’S FAVOURITE PARTNER, STRICTLY CHAMPION 2012, “OLD MAN”. SUGGS IS FAMOUS ON INTERNET TWO WAYS – FIRSTLY HE HAVE MANY HIT SINGLES IN THE 70S WITH SONGS LIKE “FUN HOUSE”, “TROUSERS THAT ARE BAGGY” AND “IS THIS LOVE? IT MUST BE!”. SECONDLY HE FORMS MEGAZORD ON ALL SOCIAL MEDIAS WITH HIS BIGGER AND MORE POWERFUL SISTER, ZOOTROPOLIS! MANY PEOPLE THEY SAY TO IVETA THAT TUBERS SHOULD NOT BE STRICTLY CONTESTANTS, BUT THOSE PEOPLE ARE OLD, WEAK AND STUPID SNOBS, AND WHEN JOSEPH WIN, IT IS IN HIS CONTRACT THAT, AS SHE IS QUEEN OF ALL SOCIAL MEDIAS, THAT IVETA THEN OWN STRICTLY COME DANCING FOREVER IN HIS NAME, SO GOOD LUCK JOSEPH! YOU ARE LIKE BUTTER TO MY HEART!
Graeme Swann : Admit it, when you heard that there was a 6ft 1 cricketer in the cast, you felt a pang for Natalie Lowe, you know you did. Never mind, some new pro will have to follow in the footsteps of Lilia, Karen Hardy, Katya Virshilas and the Goddess herself in mining the rich vein of entertainment that has been provided by the English National Cricket Team on Strictly. On paper, Graeme Swann seems to lean more to the wacky disolute Tuffers/Gough end of the spectrum than the uptight Jane Austen Hero Ramps/Vaughan end – lead singer in a band called (*deep breath, pained voice, appeals to camera to make it stop with the eyes*) “Dr Comfort And The Lurid Revelations” and also infamously having waited out a drink-driving rap and blamed it on his cat (WORR, LEGEND, WEYYY) – so hopefully whoever gets him out of the Sorting Hat knows they’re potentially in for a trying time. Start drawing up who you might like him to wish him on now.
Dr Ranj Singh : First a judge, then a vicar, and now a doctor. Strictly really is running through all the titled suspects in a Miss Marple, series by series, but with gays. Next year can we have the dissolute black sheep son with massive gambling debts, an alcohol problem, and ruffled chestnut hair please, whichever celeb that might be, personal reasons, you understand me. Dr Ranj’s practice as a medic encompasses both kids tv (WITH SONGS!) and This Morning, following in the proud steps of Dr Hilary Jones, Dr Chris Thingy, and that woman with the afro who does all those really bargain basement ITV “health” documentaries about how you can avoid diabetes by rebalancing your ketones via only eating Tic Tacs and aubergines. And just like any man with a pulse and most of his own teeth on kids tv, he is a MUMS FAVOURITE, combining the looks of a young George Hamilton, Marlon Brando, Guy Smiley AND Sam Eagle (yes that’s right, two Muppets in one man), making hearts across the nation pound as they pick bits of Mr Men malted milk biscuit out of the living room rug and reach for the boxed wine. A close personal friend of both Minogues, a lover of pink fizz, and also a RuPauls Drag Race superfan, quite frankly Dr Ranj is the 21st century gay icon that Strictly deserves, and I can only imagine how much Zoe is going to squee over him on It Takes Two. Seriously she might not even let him out of the studio, please make sure that Dr Ranj gets to dance past Episode One Greg The Floor Manager, I’m relying on you to overpower her.
Seann Walsh : After Youtube, BBC 3 documentarians, dancers who just say “yes I’m a dancer, what of it?”, actors who’ve never done a soap, sexy young DJs, a medical professional and…well not Faye From Steps, let’s admit it, that’s a fairly rote casting…but after all those new frontiers probed by our new casting manager, we get yet another. It’s a YOUNG COMEDIAN. Who seems like he would appear on DAVE. And like BEER! Until now Strictly comedians have either been political satirists or campy end-of-the-piers types, but Seann Walsh is neither. From what I can tell he has a nose ring and has long hair and likes to shout and make jokes about his girlfriend and being a lad. I can only imagine what the atmosphere would have been like if Bruce had lived long enough to interact with him, but I’m sure he’ll be watching on from heaven and having opinions and telling Reg Varney and George Roper and whoever else he’s sharing the sofa with that they didn’t have to swear like this back in his day, it shows a lack of vocabulary. Regardless, a new direction for Strictly, let’s all embrace it and also maybe secretly cross our fingers behind our backs that he goes brittle and insane like Jan Ravens did. But then I’m also hoping that.
Lee Ryan : Now let’s face it, all of us here appreciate a good Strictly trainwreck. If you couldn’t appreciate the finer points of the Vorderumba, the Snowdance, “HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY CRAIG, HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY!”, Natalie Lowe being carried about in a wheelbarrow swinging an axe at Bruno Tonioli’s head whilst screaming he’s a “BORING PERSON”, Daniel O Donnell as an arthritic Danny Zuko, Lulu screaming “OH NO NOT THAT ONE HE’S A PRICK!” in Brenda’s face, Sophie Ellis Bextor dressed up as a vampire lobster, or most iconically NANCY DELL’OLIO, then you wouldn’t be here, you’d be on some facebook group talking about how they should just cast good dancers i did some ballroom dancing when i was 14 once so i know what i’m talking about imaging a cast of 15 ann widdecombes no thank you. BUT casting Lee Ryan feels a bit like them jamming the cheat codes into the game at the title screen to cheat us an iconic meltdown. This is a man who
- completely ruined Blue’s US career by complaining that people were making too much of a fuss about 9/11 and instead should care about “the animals” instead
- split Blue up because Elton John told him to, possibly in a dream or as part of a vision quest
- quit Hell’s Kitchen over Marco Pierre White using the word “pikey” (SJW GOD <3)
- had the best natural singing voice in Blue but ruined it all by constantly doing vocal runs and melisma that would make Mariah Carey say “…bit much, mate”
- completely bombed Blue’s chance of doing respectably at Eurovision (they finished 4th in the public vote!) by by all accounts screeching like a stuck pig through their entire jury performance, then blamed it all on politics anyway
- got involved into a love triangle on Celebrity Big Brother with a glamour model and Ryan Seacrest’s ex-girlfriend. Said ex-girlfriend then accused him of cheating on her in the outside world with another man (you might have thought there was a clue in “Ryan Seacrest’s ex-girlfriend” there, I couldn’t possibly comment
- tried to crack on to a member of Atomic Kitten right in front of another member of Atomic Kitten, the one he used to date, on The Big Reunion, apparently, I didn’t watch it, but I heard it was cringey
To his credit, Lee Ryan has since managed to last a year in Eastenders without spontaneously combusting but…is it wrong to wish? Really? Morally? For a mess?
Charles Venn : aka Chucky Venn aka Chucky Venice aka Charlie Big Potatoes aka Charlemagne The Stripper. Yes ladies, all of you waiting, sadly eyeing up the line-up wondering when your HUNK was getting here have finally been rewarded. Charles has played the top-off boy-toy love interest on Dream Team, Footballers Wives, Eastenders, Casualty, Miranda, Little Miss Jocelyn, Kathy Griffin : My Life On The D List, and Bang Bang Betty’s Go-Go Revue at hen nights and provincial gay bars up and down the country. Probably. He’s the sort of man who says things like “I love exercise, and my favourite type of cardio-vascular workouts are running and sex” so…not for me, so much, it brings to mind someone popping out a couple of dumb-bells mid-thrust, but if you’re looking for a slab of prime 100% beef then here you are. Charles is currently wedged into Casualty, where he plays a maverick nurse who plays by his own rules, and also takes his top off. Who knows where Strictly will take him? Taking his top off in a revival of Dr Doolittle in Chichester Festival Theatre? All signs point to yes.