Strictly Come Dancing has announced its first competitors for its 2023 series in Angela Rippon, Amanda Abbington and Layton Williams.

The celebrities were revealed on BBC One’s The One Show on Friday evening (August 4).

Broadcaster Rippon will be 79 when the programme is filmed, making her the show’s oldest contestant, after Johnny Ball took part in 2012 aged 74.

She became the first regular female news anchor on the BBC in 1975 and went on to host shows including Strictly predecessor Come Dancing between 1988 to 1991.

Meanwhile, Abbington is an actress who is best known for her roles in Sherlock, Mr Selfridge, Wolfe and Desperate Measures.

Alongside them, Williams is an actor who is known for playing Stephen Carmichael in the sitcom Bad Education.

The 28-year-old rose to fame as a child playing the title role in Billy Elliot The Musical on London’s West End and from 2019 he played the title character in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

What do the celebrities think about taking part in Strictly Come Dancing?

Appearing on The One Show, Rippon revealed the first thing she asked the BBC show when they approached her was “why didn’t they ask me 10 years ago”.

She added: “The serious reason behind doing it is because I’ve been advocating ever since I did a series called How To Stay Young with Chris van Tulleken where we demonstrated as part of the programme that dance is the complete full mind and body exercise for everybody, regardless of your age, but particularly for people as they get older.

“And as I’m now 78, and will be 79 when we’re actually doing the programme… it would be wonderful if I could last long enough, a few weeks, and demonstrate that even at my age that it genuinely is possible for people that are older to be able to dance, to keep fit and strong and help with their posture and balance and to feel a million dollars.”

Abbington shared that the main reason she wanted to do Strictly Come Dancing was to embarrass her teenage children.

She also admitted: “I’m actually really shy and self-conscious so this will be a great opportunity for me to overcome those things.

“Plus, I get to learn to dance which I am incredibly excited about. I’m really looking forward to the training too, I’m quite competitive as my family and friends will tell you.”

Meanwhile, Williams told The One Show he is ready to go on a “rollercoaster journey with the cast” and “slay the ballroom floor”.

He added that he had requested to be paired with a male professional dancer as he revealed that he used to be jealous of his female classmates getting “thrown around” when he was at college.