Page last updated at 10:44 GMT, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 11:44 UK

Strictly reveals dancing line-up


Jo Wood is among the contestants as the full line-up is introduced

The star contestants for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing include boxer Joe Calzaghe, the BBC has revealed.

Actress Lynda Bellingham, Crimewatch host Rav Wilding, ex-cricketer Phil Tufnell and tennis champion Martina Hingis will also take part.

Hollyoaks' Ricky Whittle and The Bill's Ali Bastian, EastEnder Ricky Groves and Natalie Cassidy will compete with BBC Breakfast's Chris Hollins.

Ex-Footballers Wives star Zoe Lucker is also among the competitors.

Lucker will take to the dancefloor against her co-star from the ITV melodrama, actress Laila Rouass.

Contest changes

Athlete Jade Johnson and jockey Richard Dunwoody will also represent the world of sport in the series, which begins on BBC One on Friday 18 September.

Jo Wood, the estranged wife of Rolling Stone Ronnie and actor Craig Kelly - who plays factory manager Luke Strong in Coronation Street - complete the line-up.

Natalie Cassidy and Vincent Simone
Actress Natalie Cassidy will team up with Vincent Simone

Kelly is also well-known for playing Vince in 1990s drama Queer As Folk.

Actress Bellingham, who is a regular on ITV1's Loose Women, is the oldest celebrity dancer in the competition at 61.

Bastian previously played Becca in teen soap opera Hollyoaks.

The makers of the Saturday night show have also revealed some changes to the way the competition is run for the seventh series.

The first two weeks will see the 16 competitors split into two groups, but not into men and women as in previous outings.

There will be shows on Friday and Saturday for the opening two weeks, but the Sunday results show has been shelved in favour of an extended edition on Saturday night.

The rules have been changed so that in the event of the judges' scores resulting in a tie, any couple can be saved from the dance-off, while no pair is safe.

BBC One on Friday 18 September

It was previously announced that former winner Alesha Dixon is to replace Arlene Phillips on the judging panel in the new series.

Head judge Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli will return as judges.

Former Royal Ballet star Darcey Bussell will appear as a guest judge in the last three shows of the run.

Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly will return to present the programme.

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