6 August 2019
Will Bayley announced for BBC Strictly Come Dancing 2019
Rio 2016 Para table tennis champion Will Bayley will be the latest ParalympicsGB athlete to take to the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom after he joined the line-up for the 2019 edition of the BBC series.
Sprint star Jonnie Peacock was the first disabled contestant on the flagship show back in 2017 before being followed a year later by Para triathlon world champion Lauren Steadman.
Bayley won class 7 gold at Rio 2016 after taking silver four years earlier in London and will still be focusing on retaining his title at Tokyo 2020 after his appearance on Strictly.
It’s my mum’s favourite and we all watch it too, so I was excited when I was asked to take part.
“It’s such a great family show,” said Bayley. “It’s my mum’s favourite and we all watch it too, so I was excited when I was asked to take part.
“I don’t really dance at parties and I have no dancing background so it will be funny to watch me trying to learn.
“I’m most looking forward to getting to know everyone on the show – the other contestants and the professional dancers – and it will be amazing to be taught how to dance by a top professional.”
Jumping for joy: Bayley celebrates Rio gold
While Bayley might not have much dance experience, he attended the Brit School for Performing Arts in Croydon and also appeared on Channel 4’s First Dates.
His attention will turn to the ballroom in September but first he has the small matter of the preparing for the European Para Table Tennis Championships in Sweden next month after a strong season that has seen him win gold at international tournaments in Italy, Slovenia and Japan.
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