Strictly Come Dancing confirm final celebrity for the 2020 series

Strictly Come Dancing 2020 logo

Jacqui Smith is the final name for the new series

Strictly Come Dancing has confirmed that former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is the final contestant for this year’s series.

Jacqui completes the Strictly Come Dancing 2020 line-up - she joins Caroline Quentin, Max George, Jason Bell, Nicola Adams, Ranvir Singh, Clara Amfo, Bill Bailey, JJ Chalmers, Jamie Laing, Maisie Smith and HRVY.

Jacqui says: “I was speechless with excitement at being asked to join Strictly – and that’s very rare for me.  Fifty years ago, I got a bronze medal for Scottish Highland Dancing and it feels about time to return to dancing. I couldn’t be in better hands with the Strictly team and I’m going to throw myself into the challenge. Watch out!”.

Jacqui Smith Strictly Come Dancing

Jacqui Smith will be hoping to make an impact on Strictly Come Dancing

The 57-year-old was Home Secretary between 2007 and 2009 - she was the first woman to hold the post. She will no doubt be hoping to have as much impact as another Labour politician, Ed Balls. Ed was an unexpected hit on the 2016 series and his interpretation of Gangnam Style will live long in the memory!

The news that Jacqui was taking part in Strictly Come Dancing broke on The Steve Wright Show. Earlier today it was announced that pop star HRVY was the 11th contestant for this year’s show.

The 21-year-old said: “Being on Strictly is going to be such an amazing experience and I’m so thankful to be taking part this year. I think my mum is more excited that she’ll be able to see me every Saturday night now.”

Strictly this year is on for a shorter run than normal. It will also make history with Nicola Adams becoming the first person on the show to have a same-sex partner. Nicola talked about how excited she was to be on Strictly and added: "I also wanted to thank the BBC for supporting me and making me the first ever all female-pairing; and it’s amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the entertainment industry.”

Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC1 in October.

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!