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Sports host Mike Bushell to represent ‘dad dancers’ as he joins Strictly line-up

BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell joins Strictly line-up (Brian Lawless/PA)
BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell joins Strictly line-up (Brian Lawless/PA)

BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell joked that he will represent “dad dancers” as became the sixth celebrity to join the line-up for Strictly Come Dancing.

The broadcaster, known for hosting the sports bulletins on BBC Breakfast, was unveiled on the morning programme.

Entering the studio in a cloud of smoke and with glittery pom-poms, Bushell, 53, said: “It feels like a weird dream.”

He said he had known about the Strictly stint for “a few weeks”, adding: “I thought they got the wrong person.

“For years people have got me confused with Chris Hollins, who won in 2009. Every week someone would say ‘Can I have a selfie?’ and they’d say ‘My partner loved you on Strictly’.”

He said he only told his wife Emily about his Strictly job, to explain “why I was doing funny moves around the lounge, doing strange things”.

Bushell, who tied the knot in May, said his first dance with his new bride at the ceremony “was more just jumping up and down, really, not really practice”.

He joked: “I’m flying the flag for dad dancers.

“I did this piece for Breakfast about a year ago with the Outta Puff Daddys, a group of older men in Brighton who get together to dance, and it was brilliant but I then realised my limitations, at the moment.

“It’s going to be a steep learning curve.”

Bushell was joined on the sofa by last year’s Strictly winner Stacey Dooley, who told him: “It’s not really about the dance, I think they love a trier.”

Dooley referred to Bushell being “clumsy”, mentioning his major gaffe last year when he slipped into the pool while interviewing the England swimming team last year during the Commonwealth Games.

Bushell said he will not under-estimate “the physical challenge” of being on Strictly, and also the mental side.

He said in a statement: “I am so excited to be joining this year’s Strictly Come Dancing. I’ve heard so many wonderful things from colleagues over the years so thrilled I’m now getting the chance.

“I know I will completely throw myself into the whole experience and I’m sure will love it from start to finish.

“I may have tried and profiled over 500 sports over the years in my Saturday morning BBC Breakfast slot but think the Strictly challenge could be the greatest. Bring on the glitter!”

Bushell joins previously announced stars David James, Chris Ramsey, Emma Barton, Saffron Barker and Catherine Tyldesley in the Strictly line-up.

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