New professionals join Strictly line-up
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