Hertfordshire-based Amanda Abbington is the first celebrity contestant confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing 2023.

Strictly will return to BBC One and BBC iPlayer this autumn with Sherlock and Mr Selfridge star Amanda Abbington taking to the dancefloor.

The news was revealed tonight (Friday, August 4) on The One Show on BBC One.

The award-winning stage and screen actor will be joined in the ballroom contest by journalist, TV presenter, newsreader, and author Angela Rippon CBE and Layton Williams, a film and theatre actor best known for Billy Elliot and Everyone’s Talking About Jamie.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Angela Rippon has been announced for Strictly Come Dancing 2023.Angela Rippon has been announced for Strictly Come Dancing 2023. (Image: BBC)

Ahead of Strictly Come Dancing series 21, Amanda Abbington said: "I’m thrilled to have been asked to do Strictly.

"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. I can’t wait to start!"


As well as appearing alongside then partner Martin Freeman in Sherlock, Amanda Abbington has also starred in Wolfe, Cuffs, The Family Pile, and Desperate Measures.

Her illustrious television acting career spans three decades, and she has also performed in various plays in renowned theatres across the country, including recently starring in the West End transfer of Steven Moffat’s The Unfriend.

Her role as Mary Morstan in Sherlock won her the Best Supporting Actress gong at the Crime Thriller Awards, alongside nominations for this role at the Critic’s Choice Television Awards.

Previous Strictly Come Dancing contestants from Hertfordshire include Welwyn Garden City's Alesha Dixon, who won the Strictly Glitterball in 2007, and Lisa Snowdon, who was a finalist in 2008.

Others from the Welwyn Hatfield area to have taken to the dancefloor include former EastEnders favourite Jake Wood, and football legend David James, the former England goalkeeper from Welwyn Garden City.

Also joining the Strictly class of 2023 is Angela Rippon, who said: “Having been a fan of Strictly since day one, and as a former presenter of Come Dancing, this will be quite an adventure for me.

"A scary one, considering I’m about to be 79. But I’m really looking forward to the challenge, and perhaps being able to learn to dance the Argentinian Tango!”

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Strictly Come Dancing 2023 contestant Layton Williams.Strictly Come Dancing 2023 contestant Layton Williams. (Image: BBC)

Layton Williams, the third celebrity contestant confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing 2023, said: "Absolutely buzzing to confirm that I will be taking part in THE most iconic dance competition in the UK!

"It's time to bring it to the Ballroom. So excited to learn new skills from the best. Bring on the sequins… ALL the sequins!"

The remaining celebrity contestants joining the new series of Strictly will be announced in due course.

Strictly Come Dancing is made at Hertsmere's Elstree Film Studios.