Rachel Riley favourite for Strictly Come Dancing

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 2 September 2013
Rachel Riley

Rachel Riley

Rachel Riley is being tipped to win 'Strictly Come Dancing' after being confirmed as a contestant alongside Abbey Clancy, Tony Jacklin, Susanna Reid and Vanessa Feltz

Rachel Riley is the early favourite to win 'Strictly Come Dancing' after being confirmed as a contestant.

The 'Countdown' co-host is being tipped to win the BBC One talent show after being named alongside other confirmed stars including stunning model Abbey Clancy, golfing legend Tony Jacklin, newsreader Susanna Reid and TV personality Vanessa Feltz.

The show's official Twitter account announced Rachel has signed up for the show by posting a picture of the 27-year-old beauty next to her 'Countdown' board, which featured a mixture of consonants and vowels spelling out the words: "I AM ON STRICTLY".

A message accompanying the image stated: "Welcome the lovely @RachelRileyRR to Strictly! Our next consonant... sorry contestant on the show! #scd3013 (sic)"

According to The Sun newspaper, several other stars have also been confirmed for the show's 11th series including former 'Coronation Street' actress Natalie Gumede, singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor, 'Dragons' Den' star Deborah Meaden and rugby ace Ben Cohen.

The line-up is completed by Bond girl Fiona Fullerton, 'Waterloo Road' actor Mark Benton, 'Hollyoaks' hunk Ashley Taylor Dawson, 'Casualty' star Patrick Robinson, Hairy Biker Dave Myers and fashion designer Julien Macdonald.

A BBC source said: "We're thrilled. They're household names everyone loves."

However, professional dancer Natalie Lowe has been forced to quit the forthcoming series before it has started after fracturing her foot during training.

The Australian star will be replaced by Aliona Vilani - who won the show in 2011 with McFly drummer Harry Judd - but Natalie is "devastated".

She said: "Not being able to compete with a celebrity partner is so hard.

"But this series is going to blow everyone away and I cannot wait to get my feet back on the dance floor."

Aliona said: "My heart goes out to Natalie. I wish her a speedy recovery."

Despite being forced out this year, Natalie is still thought to be a part of the show's future.

A BBC Spokeswoman said: "She shall very much remain part of the Strictly family and we will welcome her back into the dance troupe as soon as she is fit to do so."

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