Three contestants have now been confirmed for the new series of the dancing show

It’s that time of the year again when the new series Strictly Come Dancing contestants start to be confirmed.

And the latest stars to join the line-up are celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott and EastEnders actress Kellie Bright.

Ainsley, 58, who presented BBC1 cookery programme Ready Steady Cook for 16 years said: ‘I must admit that I do love to dance, but doing it in front of the nation is a whole different matter.

‘In my day job the only type of salsa I know about is the one in my recipes, so I am looking forward to rising to the challenge. Bring it on!’

And Kellie, 39, who is best known for playing Linda Carter on the soap, explained: ‘One reason I wanted to do it is because I’m going to be 40 next year. I thought well actually at this point in my life to be the fittest I’ve ever been, or to certainly give it a good go, is a great thing and it will be challenging.

She added: ‘I just want to see what my body can still do, you know what I mean, before it all goes kaput.’

The pair will join Radio 2 presenter Jeremy Vine, who was revealed as the first contestant earlier this week.

Jeremy voiced his excitement at being asked to be on the show. ‘How could I say no to the biggest show in TV? Yes, yes, yes and yes again to the sequins and the Samba! They asked me and I just thought I just turned 50 this year I’ve got to start dancing properly. I can’t go into the dad dancing.’

The other contestants taking part will be announced over the next few weeks. The 13th series of Strictly will start in September.

Last year’s competition was won by X Factor presenter Caroline Flack.

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Lisa Blake