Actress Georgia May Foote, Celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott and TV presenter Anita Rani are the next celebrity contestants confirmed to compete in the 2016 Strictly Come Dancing UK tour, which opens in Birmingham on 22 January.
Georgia, Ainsley and Anita will join Frankie Bridge from The Saturdays, the 2016 host of the tour, Mel Giedroyc, and judges Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood (who also directs the tour) and Bruno Tonioli for the 30 date live extravaganza. They will be reunited with more celebrities and professional dancers from this year’s ratings winning BBC One TV series, who will take to the dance floor to recreate their dazzling moves and compete for votes from the judges. More names will be announced soon.
Georgia May Foote shot to national fame when she played the role of Katy Armstrong in ITV1’s Coronation Street for five years from 2010 to 2015, although she had previously appeared in popular TV series, including Brookside, Grange Hill, Life On Mars, Emmerdale, Heartbeat, Doctors, Casualty and This Is England ’86.
Georgia says: “I am SO excited to be part of the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour. I’ve made some great friends on the TV show so I’m delighted to have the chance to perform with them again as we travel across the UK. I can’t wait for January!”
Ainsley Harriott is best known for appearing on many hit TV cookery shows such as Ready, Steady, Cook, Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook, Ainsley’s Meals In Minutes and, in 2015, his latest series, Ainsley Harriott’s Street Food and Len & Ainsley’s Big Food Adventure (with Strictly judge, Len Goodman). He has also presented More Nosh, Less Dosh on BBC Radio 5 and has sold over two million books worldwide as a bestselling cookery book author.
Ainsley says: “I loved my time on the TV series and am now really looking forward to getting out on the road; it’s going to be so exciting to feel the reaction when we step out on to those arena dance floors with all the other celebrity dancers and their professional partners. I’ve been known to do a bit of dancing around the kitchen and I’m now thrilled to have the chance to dance in front of enormous audiences across the country.”
Anita Rani has worked as a presenter on TV shows including BBC One’s The One Show, Watchdog and Countryfile, appearing alongside former Strictly star Matt Baker. She has also presented BBC One’s Rogue Restaurants, BBC Two’s Escape To The Continent, Channel 4’s Four Rooms and was a part of the BBC presenting team that covered the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011. As well as presenting on television, Anita has presented on BBC Radio 2 – deputising for fellow Strictly contestant, Jeremy Vine – as well as various shows on BBC Radio Five Live, BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Asian Network and the BBC World Service.
Anita says: “I’ve thrown myself into Strictly and can’t believe how much I’m enjoying learning to dance. I’m over the moon to be able to carry on the glittery experience and join the tour. For a Yorkshire lass what better place to visit than my old uni town of Leeds. I hope everyone comes down for a northern knees up!”
The tour opens at the Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham on 22 January 2016. It will then visit the biggest entertainment venues across the UK: Sheffield Arena, First Direct Arena Leeds, Manchester Arena, Liverpool’s Echo Arena, Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Nottingham’s Capital FM Arena, The SSE Arena in Wembley, before culminating at The O2, London on Valentine’s Day.
Tickets for STRICTLY COME DANCING THE LIVE TOUR 2016 are on sale now. Click here for tickets