Ms Widdecombe, who is partnered with professional dancer Anton du Beke, is up against 13 other celebrities.
Among the 2010 dancers are TV magician Paul Daniels, actress Felicity Kendal, TV presenter Matt Baker, former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, Wales rugby star Gavin Henson, and singer Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child.
As a teenager, Ms Widdecombe had dance lessons, which she describes as "a total disaster".
"I think I gave up after about six lessons," she said. "I haven't danced for so long, I can't remember when it was."
So what tempted her to take part? "I'm just looking for a completely new experience," she says on video on the BBC's
Strictly Come Dancing
Ann Widdecombe admits she does not expect to win Strictly 2010
"And learning something that is not remotely within my repertoire at the moment.
"The slowest of slow ballroom dances will be my favourite."
Speaking to BBC Radio Devon's Matt Woodley, Ms Widdecombe, 63, said she was inspired by John Sergeant, who progressed in the 2008 contest despite his shortcomings: "You can do it at your own pace," she said.
"I am enjoying it," she added. "It is very hard work. But I am fit - I haven't found it physically draining.
"But technically, it's absolute murder. I mean, I'm the pantomime act."
The former Conservative MP bought a house on Dartmoor in 2008 and, after a life in politics, she did not stand for re-election as MP for Maidstone and the Weald at this year's General Election.
She is currently writing her fifth novel and has forged a career in media and broadcasting.
The 2009 Strictly champions were BBC TV presenter Chris Hollins and dance partner Ola Jordan.
BBC Radio Devon's Matt Woodley spoke to Ann Widdecombe when it was announced she was taking part - listen to his interview using the audio link.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.