Strictly Come Dancing: Monty Don first contestant ‘unveiled’ for line-up in major U-turn

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Monty, 65, is best known for being a familiar face on Gardeners’ World but he might be taking on a very different role later this year. With the rumour mill going into overdrive as to who could be taking part in this year’s edition of Strictly Come Dancing, the unofficial list of rumoured names for the 2021 line-up is building. The BBC star is among some of the big names and could be one of the first all-stars to sign up but it would certainly be a big U-turn if he were to take part.

Last year and in response to a viewer quizzing him about participating, Monty took to Twitter to address the matter.

The gardening expert wrote: “I have been asked on Strictly three times now – politely refused each time and would continue to do so were there another 33 times!

“Not my thing,” he added, but it seems Coral bookmakers have the idea and think he could be the first celebrity unveiled for this year’s line-up.

According to their latest odds, the presenter’s chances have been slashed to 2/1 to join the cast and make a bid for the Glitterball Trophy.

Spokesperson Harry Aitkenhead said: “Monty Don has made it clear in the past that he doesn’t fancy a stint on Strictly.”

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The bookmaker spokesperson added of the speculation: “But we think 2021 could be the year it does finally happen.

“We make it 2/1 that the much-loved Gardeners’ World presenter struts his stuff on the dance-floor this year,” he added.

Fans have been wondering for a while why the gardening expert has not yet signed up to take part in the Saturday night entertainment show.

One wrote on Twitter: “Why isn’t Monty Don on #strictly? #gardenersworld,” with another adding: “Our loss,” in reply to his original post on the social media platform.

That is my currency

Monty Don

Back in 2016, Monty gave an honest response to not only taking part in Strictly but other reality television programmes.

When asked if he’d been approached by bosses of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here, the avid gardener said: “I have – and to dance. All of them.

“My basic philosophy is never do anything with the word ‘celebrity’ attached to it. Without being overly pompous, if you have worked hard to have an audience trust you a bit, why blow it?

“That is my currency,” he told The Guardian, but will he change his mind and give the ballroom a try later this year in line with the bookmakers’ predictions?

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There are several other celebrities linked to the 2021 line-up, just months after comedian Bill Bailey, 56, won the first-ever socially distanced season.

One person who has voiced their interest in being a contestant is former S Club star and UK pop sensation Tina Barrett, 44.

She said: “I love Strictly and I’d like to do it. I haven’t been asked to, so if anyone at Strictly is reading, please let me go on.

“It would be amazing. I am a bit of a Glitterball girl,” the singer-songwriter told The Sun.

Following her exit from BBC Radio 1, model and presenter Maya Jama, 26, could also be among the cast list for 2021.

The radio star has also spoken about her interest in taking part, saying: “I don’t know, I always say I don’t know.

“I’d never say never to all of these things,” she told RadioTimes.com so could she be following in the footsteps of colleague Clara Amfo, 36, who didn’t manage to win the crown?

However, with still months until the 2021 season begins, viewers will have to wait a bit longer for the official cast list.

Strictly Come Dancing returns later this year on BBC One.

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