Stop teasing, Tess! Strictly host tempts fans over latest line up

The pair took to social media to share the moment they were reunited for the 16th season of Strictly Come Dancing, which starts next month on BBC One. The photo showed them cuddling and grinning broadly.

Tess, 49, wrote: “Got to snuggle up to this one today. So excited for our first day back to work PLUS we found out the new celeb cast for Strictly 2018. Can’t wait to share it with you.”

Claudia wrote: “First day on Strictly. Tess and I are about to be told who’s taking part. I’ll let you know…”

The teaser came as Ladbrokes closed the betting on former Girls Aloud star Cheryl and fellow front runners Faye Tozer and Ashley Roberts.

Former Steps singer Faye has years of dance experience and ex-Pussycat Doll Ashley is a former contestant on I’m A Celebrity… That leaves BBC Breakfast presenter Steph McGovern as the new favourite at 6/4 with comedian Les Dennis and Olympic diver Tom Daley both at 7/4.

Footballer Wayne Rooney’s wife Coleen and The Chase quiz show’s Mark “The Beast” Labbett are at 2/1 along with the former Coronation Street actress Michelle Keegan and BBC presenter Dan Walker.

Cheryl, 35, would be a surprise signing because she is more highprofile than the usual contestants. She is also rumoured to be a coach on Simon Cowell’s new BBC series The Greatest Dancer, which will be launched in the new year as a rival to ITV’s The Voice.

The former X Factor judge is known to be looking for a new work challenge after taking time out to care for Bear, her 16-month-old son with One Direction’s Liam Payne from whom she split in June.

 

Strictly has been criticised in the past for booking people with extensive dance experience and the possibility of Faye, 42, being a contestant will raise more eyebrows.

An insider said: “It will raise more questions over whether it’s fair for someone who has danced professionally to be up against people with no experience.”

Former Strictly professional Brendan Cole has said the show should adopt a golf-style handicap to level the playing field.

Ashley, 36, also has dance experience – but this time it might count against her.

“There’s a difference between dancing in a girl band and doing ballroom,” the insider said.

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