Strictly Come Dancing bosses are already looking for celebrities to take part in the next series – and it seems they are stirring the pot with their X Factor rivals.
It’s been reported that pop heartthrob Olly Murs has signed a very lucrative deal to take part in the dance competition.
It’s claimed Olly is looking for a challenge to take his mind of his 2015 split from his girlfriend of three years, Francesca Thomas.
Of course, it also gives him the opportunity to give a big Birdie to The X Factor.
After finding fame with the talent show, he went on to host it for a series – in 2015 – after Dermot O’Leary was given the bullet.
And then he quit.
Well, we say ‘quit’. That was the official line. In all probability he walked before he was pushed – he and his co-host Caroline Flack were routinely slammed by viewers for their shambolic presenting style.
Caroline was, indeed, sacked and there were rumours she felt she’d been thrown under a bus. Proverbially, of course. It’s ITV, not the Mid-west!
Of Strictly Come Dancing, Olly, 32, has said: “I’ve always been open to the idea of Strictly.
“I went down there and did a performance and part of me just enjoyed the whole atmosphere.
“Learning those sort of dances would be quite fun.”
Committing to the show will also help his heart heal, hopefully – as a source explained: “Signing up for Strictly requires major commitment and several rehearsals every week. It leaves little to no time for a private life.
“It’s the perfect way for Olly to occupy himself and he’s hoping it will give him a new lease of life as he tries to move on from his split.”
The Saturday night entertainment juggernaut is also reportedly chasing after marathon champ Paula Radcliffe for the new series.
“Paula is a bona fide athletics legend, and the bosses are convinced she would be a hit on Strictly if she agreed to take part,” a source told The Sun.
“Not only is she a household name, she is incredibly likeable and has the discipline to really apply herself to a training regime.”
The world record holder, who retired from sport in 2015, is reportedly a “massive fan” of the show. Her family and friends are encouraging her to sign up.
There could also be a surprise name on the judging panel – according to reports, former British ballroom dancer Shirley Ballas is set to take over the vacancy left by Len Goodman.
Dancers Anton du Beke and Brendan Cole reportedly tried out for the coveted judging position.
“Shirley had the best screen test by far and was a natural,” snitched yet another source.
“But nothing has been signed off yet – top BBC bosses have to give it the final approval as this has become its biggest talent job vacancy.”