- The current 5-1 favorite is Saturdays star Mollie King
- Competition heats up as Gemma Atkinson enters at 7/1
Soap star Gemma Atkinson has been officially revealed as the fifth contestant in the UK’s 2017 Strictly Come Dancing series, and she has already been placed as second favorite to win by the bookmakers.
— BBC Strictly✨ (@bbcstrictly) August 10, 2017
The current favorite at 5-1 is Mollie King of girl group The Saturdays, while TV presenter Ruth Langsford and actor Davood Ghadami from BBC soap Eastenders will also take part.
The Sun reports that comedian Brian Conley will appear, although this is unconfirmed. The new series is expected to begin on September 22, and the identities of all the contestants will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Four celebrity dancers prepare for Strictly madness
When Strictly returns in 2017, it will mark the 15th consecutive year of the celebrity dance contest. There will be some changes this year, with judge Len Goodman absent and Shirley Ballas joining Bruno, Craig and Darcey instead.
However, the format remains the same. Dancers will team with professionals and perform increasingly difficult sequences, with the public voting for their favorites and whittling down the pack. The final dance-off will crown 2017’s winner – and bookmakers are already inviting bets on who that will be.
Odds revealed for Strictly stars
William Hill currently places Ruth Langsford as the outsider at 25-1, while Eastenders star Davood Ghadami has a 10-1 chance.
The key competition right now is between Mollie and Gemma, at 5-1 and 7-1 respectively.
Pop star Mollie has a dance background and should find the moves easy, while ex-Emmerdale star Gemma is less used to the glitzy outfits and heels. “I’m used to wearing my converse so [dancing in heels] might be difficult,” Atkinson told Huffington Post.
— BBC Strictly✨ (@bbcstrictly) August 7, 2017
Rumors abound for rest of line-up
Over the next few days, the rest of the stars taking part will be named. Brian Conley is already being reported as a confirmed participant, while rumors are circulating about the rest of the celebrities who could enter the competition.
Fans are hoping that Matt Goss from 80s pop sensations Bros will sign up this year, and footballer Wayne Bridge has expressed interest after his wife Frankie took part last year.
More unlikely are suggestions that 84-year-old Joan Collins could take part, or beloved British astronaut Tim Peake.
Some gamblers do love a long shot, and the British public tends to get behind the underdog in these competitions, so it might be worth a flutter on your favorite celebrity if they get do confirmed for the Strictly 2017 line-up.
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