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Saturday 18th January 2020

Strictly Come Dancing 2019: Will Bayley confirmed as tenth contestant

He's "proud" to be doing the show

Will Bayley is the 10th celebrity contestant confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing.

The table tennis Paralympic champion will swap his bat for his ballroom dancing shoes in the BBC One series later this year, and he is hoping to "inspire people with a disability" during his time on the programme.

He said on talkRADIO today: "I’m so proud to be on the show, it’s my family’s favourite show.

Read more: Michelle Visage is the latest star to join this year's Strictly Come Dancing

"I have no dance experience at all, but I hope I can do well. I want to inspire people with a disability - that would mean a lot to me.

"I want to prove to people I can do this."

Will has suffered from arthrogryposis, a rare condition which affects all four of his limbs, since birth.

I’m so proud to be on the show, it’s my family’s favourite show.

The star has also been training hard to defend his Paralympic title at next year's Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and he scooped a gold at the Japan Open earlier this year.

He won silver and gold medals at London 2012 and Rio 2016.

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Views! #japan 🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵

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News of his Strictly role was revealed today (05.08.19) on talkRADIO.

It came just minutes after RuPaul's Drag Race star Michelle Visage was confirmed as the ninth celebrity for the show on 'Lorraine' earlier this morning.

Will and Michelle will be joined on the programme by fellow celebrity contestants Viscountess Emma Weymouth, Karim Zeroual, Mike Bushell, Catherine Tyldesley, Saffron Barker, David James, Chris Ramsey and Emma Barton.

On Monday's Lorraine, former Celebrity Big Brother star Michelle was confirmed as the show's ninth contestant.

She said: "I'm very excited, I'm actually over the moon. This is one show I've loved for years. I can be so dramatic and as amazing as I can be."

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing 2019: Karim Zeroual confirmed as seventh contestant

She added: "I'm a woman who's 50 years old and I want to be out there representing women of a certain age. People say: 'Well, they're old, they can't do it any more.' Well actually, yes we can."

Asked who she'd like to partner with, Michelle's first choice was Italian dancer Giovanni Pernice, who is dating his celebrity partner from last year, former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts.

Michelle admitted: "I'm Italian so I'd love Giovanni because I love the Italian sense of humour and the accent's amazing and we'd have a good time."

Speaking about the show's lifts, Michelle joked: "By the way, you've got to have some guns to lift all of this, trust me."

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