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Strictly bosses have legendary sportswoman in their sights

The search for the next group of celebrity contestants is on

Strictly Come Dancing bosses are already looking for celebrities take part in the next series – and are reportedly keen to sign up marathon champ Paula Radcliffe.

“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.

Paula definitely has the drive and stamina (Credit: Fameflynet.co.uk)

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“Not only is she a household name, she is incredibly likeable and has the discipline to really apply herself to a training regime.”

The marathon runner, a 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.

According to the Daily Star, pop heartthrob Olly Murs has already signed a lucrative deal to take part on the dance competition. The newspaper claims Olly is looking for a challenge to take his mind of his 2015 split from his girlfriend of three years, Francesca Thomas.

Read more: Heartbroken Olly Murs can’t stop talking about ex

Said a source: “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.”

While Olly was a runner-up on rival show The X Factor, he’s long been a fan of the BBC1 series.

“I’ve always been open to the idea of Strictly,” he said. “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.”

Claudia and Tess are used to welcoming big names (Credit: BBC)

There could also be a surprise name on the judging panel too – according to the 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,” said a 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.”

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