As the Strictly Come Dancing 2019 competitive sequences start airing on DStv this weekend, there has already been a change to the original line-up of celebrities introduced in last weekend’s launch of the popular reality series.
Liz Dziva, publicity and public relations manager of MultiChoice Zimbabwe, said the 15 stars of the show were introduced in the launch show last Sunday (Sep 29) but as a result of injury during the group dance, one of the contestants, Jamie Laing, had to withdraw ahead of even his initial training and has been replaced by Kelvin Fletcher.
“Kelvin Fletcher is well known to fans of the popular soap Emmerdale, on which he appeared for 20 years, and he is now a professional motorsport competitor, driving in the British GT Championship series,” she said.
“In this coming Sunday’s first competitive show he will be introduced to audiences, teaming up with professional dancer Oti Mabuse, and here’s hoping he will be both popular and successful.”
Strictly Come Dancing features on BBC Brit (DStv channel 120) each Sunday evening and this year’s series is the 17th consecutive annual running of what is one of the most popular reality shows on international television. The DStv broadcast comes within two weeks of the original UK broadcast, and the series will climax with a grand final during the coming festive season. At that point, most of the celebrity contestants will have been voted out leaving only four finalists, of whom one will take home the Strictly glitterball trophy
The 14 other celebrities and professional dancers this year, all introduced in last weekend’s BBC Brit screening, are: veteran broadcaster Anneka Rice and Kevin Clifton; former England Lionesses’ football captain Alex Scott and Neil Jones; soapie actress Catherine Tyldesley and Johannes Radebe; comedian Chris Ramsey and Karen Hauer; BBC Radio 1 presenter Dev Griffin and Dianne Buswell; former England goalkeeper David James and Nadiya Bychkova; EastEnders soapie actress Emma Barton and Anton Du Beke; Viscountess Emma Weymouth and Aljaz Skorjanec; Olypian gold medalist rower James Cracknell and Luba Mushtuk; CBBC children’s presenter Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden; RuPaul judge Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice; BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell and Katya Jones; social media star Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard; and Paralympian Will Bayley and Janette Manrara.
“Strictly Come Dancing is an exciting show that is very popular in Zimbabwe, especially among dance fans, and we look forward to a series as good as the previous 16, if not better, ” said Ms Dziva.
Local interest in the show has increased by the presence of not one but three Southern Africa-born participants: dancers Oti Mabuse and Johannes Radebe, and new judge Motsi Mabuse, elder sister of Oti.