Angela Rippon, 78, ‘in talks’ to become Strictly’s oldest contestant

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Legendary former newsreader Angela Rippon is reportedly in talks to join the newest series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The radio and television presenting veteran, 78, is no stranger to the world of dance or even televised competitions of a similar nature, having taken part in ITV’s Dancing on Ice in 2011. Now, the star is reportedly joining the roster of celebrities with their eye on the elusive Glitterball trophy.

Angela made a cameo on the beloved dancing show as part of the BBC’s 100th anniversary celebrations in 2022. A source told The Sun this “got the ball rolling” and it’s a major “coup” to sign the star for the main show.

They explained the Strictly team “loved” having her and she was “a real hit with viewers” which led to bookers reaching out to “begin discussions about her taking part”.

The source said: “It’s not an easy decision for Angela because she knows it would be very gruelling and physically tough, but she is extremely tempted.

“She loves a challenge and feels like this could be great for her. She was Mrs Come Dancing, so what a wonderful thing that she is going to be on Strictly all these years later. She is the dream signing. The audience at home will love her and many of them will remember her from her days hosting the show.”

They added it was “incredible that someone her age is doing it”, but Angela loves to dance – and bosses believe this will translate into joy on screen. She previously performed on Strictly Come Dancing for Children in Need in 2011, too.

The popular presenter has made her passion for dance known throughout her decades-long career in the public eye. She hosted the original version of the smash hit BBC show from 1988 until 1991, and then returned in 1998 before it came to an end.

During Morecambe and Wise’s 1976 Christmas special, she surprised 27 million viewers after seemingly reading the news before stepping out from behind her desk to perform an energetic dance routine.

Angela was also previously the chairwoman of the English National Ballet and is a patron of the Old Time Dance Society. Should she join Strictly Come Dancing this year, she will replace TV personality Johnny Ball as the competition’s oldest contestant. He appeared in 2012, at the age of 74.

The full line-up of celebrities joining the show for its newest series is expected to be revealed next month, with rumours swirling of who is set to join.

Waterloo Road Adam Thomas, former EastEnders actor Nigel Harmon, and former Love Island contestant Zara McDermott are believed to be taking part.

OK! has approached reps for Angela and Strictly Come Dancing for comment.

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