'Strictly Come Dancing' reveals CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson as fifth contestant

Strictly Come Dancing star Rhys Stephenson
Strictly Come Dancing star Rhys Stephenson. (Image credit: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing has unveiled its fifth contestant, revealing that TV presenter  Rhys Stephenson will be taking to the dancefloor this series. He will join Tom Fletcher, Robert Webb, AJ Odudu and John Whaite to dance it out for the glitterball trophy, forming the first five celebrities confirmed for this year's competition. 

In a statement, Rhys said: “I am BUZZING to be a part of Strictly Come Dancing 2021. I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation. I cannot wait to experience it all: the costumes, the orchestra, even Craig’s glare! I am READY!”

The exciting news was revealed on CBBC's Newsround programme, as Rhys is well known for his role as a children's TV presenter for the broadcaster. He hosts live from CBBC studio HQ and has worked on programmes such as Blue Peter and Saturday Mash-Up

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There's been some big changes to Strictly Come Dancing this series, including news that Anton du Beke will be on the judging panel. He will be standing in for regular judge Bruno Tonioli again after previously doing a two-week stint as a stand-in judge for the 2020 series of the competition.

In addition to this, professional dancer Janette Manrara will replace Zoe Ball on It Takes Two, Strictly's spin-off series. She'll be joining regular presenter Rylan Clark-Neal for the 2021 competition, but her replacement on the dancefloor has not yet been confirmed.

With only five celebrities confirmed so far, no doubt fans will be waiting eagerly to find out who else will be taking part in this series. There's been some speculation, with names like Olly Alexander, Tommy Jessop and Josephine Jobert being rumoured after their roles in big TV programmes. But are any of these true? We'll have to wait and see!  

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 later this year.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress