SCOTTISH Strictly contestant JJ Chalmers reckons boxer Nicola Adams is his main competition for the glitterball trophy.
“It’s hard to see past Nicola,” he admits, adding: “She’s clearly a serious competitor, a serious athlete and probably has some cracking footwork as well.
“I just know the kind of athlete she is having covered her as a presenter and I just think she’s going to take a lot of beating. I’ve said those words before in a boxing context and I’ve never been wrong.”
The new series of Strictly Come Dancing starts on October 17 with a premiere introducing the cast of 2020 and revealing their professional partners.
JJ, a TV presenter and former Royal Marine, who received life-changing injuries in an explosion in Afghanistan, says he signed up for ‘the challenge’.
“I live to put myself outside my comfort zone and to make sure that I’m always trying to become the best version of myself that I possibly can,” he said.
“This is completely new and I plan on bringing the exact same mind set – giving it my absolute everything.”
JJ added his nephew Rory will be rooting for him.
“He is starting a fan club with his friends at school, called ‘The JJ Cha Cha Cha Chalmers Fan Club’ which is absolutely amazing,” he said.
“I’m really fortunate because of the breadth of programming that I work on that lots of my friends have done it – Alex Jones, Anita Rani, Ore Oduba.
“The advice they’ve all given me is essentially, ‘hold on for dear life,’ because it’s just wonderful madness, hard work, and all those things.”
JJ joins comedian Bill Bailey, actor Caroline Quentin, Eastenders star Maisie Smith, The Wanted singer Max George, boxer Nicola Adams, American football presenter Jason Bell, political journalist and presenter Ranvir Singh, DJ Clara Amfo, pop star HRVY, politician Jacqui Smith and Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing – who was due to take part last year but dropped out because of injury, on this year’s series.
Nicola will be dancing with a female partner, the show’s first same-sex pairing.
Judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas return, while Bruno Tonioli will be joining the show remotely for the Sunday night results show.