New pro­fes­sion­als join Strictly line-up

Western Mail - - NEWS -

THREE new pro­fes­sional dancers will join the Strictly Come Danc­ing line-up, it has been an­nounced.

Ital­ian Latin cham­pion Graziano Di Prima, South African Latin cham­pion Jo­hannes Radebe and four-time win­ner of the Ital­ian Dance Cham­pi­onship Luba Mush­tuk will take to the floor when the show re­turns for its 16th series later this year.

It has al­ready been con­firmed that Bren­dan Cole will not be re­turn­ing for the new series – and now the BBC has an­nounced that Chloe He­witt, who joined in 2016, will also de­part the show.

The three new dancers will give the show its big­gest ever line-up of pro­fes­sion­als, ac­cord­ing to ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Louise Rain­bow, tak­ing the num­ber up to 18.

Di Prima, 24, who was born in Si­cily, has rep­re­sented Bel­gium at the World Cham­pi­onships and for the past three years he has toured the world with the dance com­pany Burn The Floor.

He said: “This is my dream come true. I can’t be­lieve I will be one of the pro­fes­sional dancers on Strictly Come Danc­ing.”

Radebe, 31, from South Africa, is a dancer with the Afro Arimba Dance Com­pany and has also been a pro­fes­sional dancer on Strictly Come Danc­ing South Africa for two sea­sons, both times reach­ing the fi­nal.

He said: “Join­ing Strictly Come Danc­ing is one of the great­est achieve­ments of my danc­ing ca­reer. It is such an hon­our.”

Rus­sian-born Mush­tuk, 28, was ranked sec­ond in the Euro­pean 10 Dance Cham­pi­onships and was a fi­nal­ist in the Latin Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship. She joined the show in 2016 as an as­sis­tant chore­og­ra­pher.

She said: “Words can­not ex­press how thrilled I am to do what I love on the great­est show on earth!”

> The pro­fes­sional dancers, from left, Jo­hannes Radebe, Luba Mush­tuk and Graziano Di Prima, join­ing the Strictly Come Danc­ing line-up

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