Strictly: Janette Manrara says she’s ‘so emotional’

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The CBBC presenter has seen his odds tumble into 7/1 in recent days, which has propelled him into second position in the betting with the bookies. Tom Fletcher remains the red-hot favourite with odds of 4/1. Jessica O’Reilly of Ladbrokes said: “Punters are becoming increasingly confident in Rhys and his ability to lift the glitterball trophy this year. If the support continues he could well displace Tom as the favourite.”

Tom Fletcher isn’t new to being centre stage, he’s best known as the guitarist and lead vocalist for pop band McFly.

The musician was the first celebrity to be announced as one of the 15 contestants on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.

Tom will be following in the footsteps of his fellow band member Harry Dudd who participated in the competition and won the ninth series in 2011.

He is also a best-selling children’s author with his books The Christmasaurus, The Creakers and There’s a Monster in Your Book.

On Wednesday 4th August, the show took to their Twitter page, announcing Tom as the first celebrity joining the 2021 lineup.

The musician shared his exhilaration and said: “I think the fact that I’m actually going to be dancing on Strictly this year has only just started to sink in while I’m writing this! I’m incredibly excited, of course, but also totally terrified!

He added: “My kids were excited too until I started showing them my best dad-dancing in the kitchen. I’m not sure how far they’ll get me in the competition but I can’t wait to add some new moves to my embarrassing dad-dancing repertoire.”

Rhys Stephenson is a familiar face on CBBC, with his work as a children’s TV presenter.

He will be trading his role of hosting Blue Peter and Saturday Mash-Up for a chance to win the Glitterball trophy.

The 27-year-old is also an actor and has taken the centre stage before, his appearance in the productions of Alice in Wonderland and At the Feet of Jesus could prove he doesn’t have two left feet.

Rhys has taken pride in his charity work, as the ambassador for Place2Be, a charity which provides mental health services in schools.

He revealed joining the line-up for Strictly Come Dancing 2021 was in fact a lifelong dream come true.

Speaking on the competition, the presenter stated: “I am buzzing to be a part of Strictly Come Dancing 2021.

Rhys added: “I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation. I cannot wait to experience it all: the costumes, the orchestra, even Craig’s glare! I am ready!”

With the odds constantly changing, fans will have to tune in to see how the Ladbrokes favourites will compete and to find out who will ultimately raise the Glitterball trophy.

Unlike the previous years, Strictly didn’t announce one big reveal but instead slowly disclosed the new lineup over the course of a few weeks.

With all the 15 celebrity contestants unveiled, fans have been placing bets on their favourites for who will win the competition.

This year will see the return of Strictly judges, Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel Horwood, Anton Du Beke and Shirley Ballas who acts as head judge.

Unfortunately, once again Bruno Tonioli will not be taking part on the panel this year due to ongoing uncertainty around travel regulations because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Strictly Come Dancing will return on Saturday, September 18, on BBC One.

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