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Strictly Come Dancing signs up RuPaul’s Drag Race star Michelle Visage

Michelle Visage (Matt Alexander/PA)
Michelle Visage (Matt Alexander/PA)

RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Michelle Visage has signed up for Strictly Come Dancing – saying she wants to represent women of a “certain age”.

The US star said she was “very excited” and “actually over-the-moon”.

She told ITV show Lorraine: “This is one show I’ve loved for years. I can’t wait to be dramatic and as amazing as I can be.”

Visage said: “I’m a woman that’s 50 years old. I want to be out there representing women of a certain age. People say ‘They’re old, they can’t do it anymore’, but actually we can. We can do it great.”

Asked about the so-called Strictly curse, she said: “It makes me laugh that people think that’s a thing. So silly!

“My husband of 22 years is the love of my life … It’s laughable is what it is.”

Visage, who will appear on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK on BBC Three in October, was in Celebrity Big Brother and a judge on Ireland’s Got Talent.

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly
Strictly Come Dancing hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly (Matt Crossick/PA)

Asked who she would like to partner with, she said: “I’m Italian so I’d love Giovanni (Pernice) because I love the Italian sense of humour…

“I also love Aljaz (Skorjanec) or Gorka (Marquez). One of those three I’d be over the moon.”

It was also announced that world table tennis paralympic champion Will Bayley will be joining the show.

Bayley, one of the stars of London 2012 and Rio 2016 games, has suffered from arthrogryposis since birth, a rare condition which affects all four of his limbs.

“I have no dance experience at all, but I hope I can do well. I want to inspire people with a disability – that would mean a lot to me. I want to prove to people I can do this,” he said.

Bayley is currently training to defend his Paralympic title at the Tokyo 2020 games and won Gold at the Japan Open 2019.

Chef and philanthropist Emma, Viscountess Weymouth, footballer David James, comedian Chris Ramsey, EastEnders star Emma Barton, YouTuber Saffron Barker, actress Catherine Tyldesley, BBC Breakfast’s Mike Bushell and CBBC star Karim Zeroual are also in this year’s line-up.

The new series will see the return of judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli, while Motsi Mabuse, sister of Strictly professional Oti, will replace Dame Darcey Bussell on the panel.

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