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Strictly Come Dancing ‘target Andrew Neil, 72, for the 2021 series’

Strictly Come Dancing bosses have reportedly targeted Andrew Neil for the 2021 series. 

The hit BBC One dance show is said to have approached the former newspaper editor, 72, who recently launched GB News, earlier this month.    

According to reports, Strictly also asked Andrew to appear on the dance show four years ago, which he turned down at the time. 

Strictly 2021? Strictly Come Dancing bosses have reportedly targeted Andrew Neil for the 2021 series 

A source told The Sun: ‘Andrew was flattered by the request from Strictly and thinks the idea of him prancing around a ballroom in sequins is hilarious. He was asked to take part in the show four years ago, too, but turned it down. 

‘Now his mates are trying to persuade him to accept. It will at least keep him in the public eye and help to promote his profile. It’s not often he ventures away from serious news projects and he has a lot on his plate. 

‘Strictly has become the number one show for so many political figures and Andrew is one of the biggest names.’

A slew of journalists have previously taken part on Strictly, including the likes of Susanna Reid, 50, Kate Silverton, 50, and Natasha Kaplinsky, 48.

Claims: The hit BBC One dance show is said to have approached the former newspaper editor, 72, who recently launched GB News, earlier this month (Strictly 2020 winners Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse pictured)

Claims: The hit BBC One dance show is said to have approached the former newspaper editor, 72, who recently launched GB News, earlier this month (Strictly 2020 winners Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse pictured) 

MailOnline has contacted BBC for comment.

It comes after it was revealed that Andrew is already taking a break from GB News – less than two weeks after launching the TV channel.

The veteran broadcaster told viewers ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet’ – just hours after it emerged that the fledgling station had attracted 26% more viewers than BBC News earlier this week.

But, while the 72-year-old said he was stepping away for ‘a few weeks’, he confirmed to viewers that he’d be back ‘before the summer is out’.

Former contestants: A slew of journalists have previously taken part on Strictly, including the likes of Susanna Reid - pictured in 2013, 50, Kate Silverton, 50, and Natasha Kaplinsky, 48

Former contestants: A slew of journalists have previously taken part on Strictly, including the likes of Susanna Reid – pictured in 2013, 50, Kate Silverton, 50, and Natasha Kaplinsky, 48  

His show will be covered by former Sky News presenter Colin Brazier in his absence.

He told viewers: ‘In two short weeks, we’ve already built a loyal audience which has beaten all of our expectations, it’s often bigger than the other news channels and it’s growing.

‘That’s the real story about GB News to date and you won’t often read that in the papers.

‘So on behalf of GB News, I say to all of our viewers, thank you. We won’t let you down and you ain’t seen nothing yet.’

Elsewhere, earlier this week it was confirmed that Anton Du Beke will be judge Bruno Tonioli‘s permanent replacement on Strictly Come Dancing series 19.   

The BBC announced the star, 54, who is the longest-serving pro dancer on the show, will make the step up to a judging seat this year for the entire series following a successful two-week stint as a panellist last year. 

The pro will replace Bruno, 65, who will not be able to take part in the 19th series due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding travel restrictions caused by COVID-19.

Anton, who will join returning judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, and Craig Revel Horwood, said: ‘My loves I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be stepping into Bruno’s brogues for the next series of Strictly.

Break: It comes after it was revealed that Andrew is already taking a break from GB News - less than two weeks after launching the TV channel

Break: It comes after it was revealed that Andrew is already taking a break from GB News – less than two weeks after launching the TV channel 

‘It’s a dream come true to be judging alongside the best of the best and I promise to be kinder to all the couples than any of them have ever been to me.’

The announcement was made via the official BBC Strictly account, as dazzling portraits of the judges were shared alongside the words: ‘It’s the judges!…

‘Please welcome back to Strictly, Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse AND Anton Du Beke, who’ll be stepping into Bruno Tonioli’s shoes for 2021!’

Happy days: Elsewhere, earlier this week it was confirmed that Anton Du Beke will be judge Bruno Tonioli 's permanent replacement on Strictly Come Dancing series 19(Anton pictured last year)

Happy days: Elsewhere, earlier this week it was confirmed that Anton Du Beke will be judge Bruno Tonioli ‘s permanent replacement on Strictly Come Dancing series 19(Anton pictured last year)

Bruno – who has been a Strictly judge since 2004 – is ‘gutted’ about missing this year’s show, but he is ‘so excited’ to see Anton on the programme.

He added: ‘Whilst I am gutted to not be on the show this year there is one person and one person only that could take my place – it’s just a shame they weren’t available … ha ha.

‘Darlings, I’m kidding, I’m kidding! Seriously though, I have to tell you, Anton is Mr Strictly and if anybody is filling in for me, it has to be him. I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way and I am so excited to see him waggle his paddle.’

Happy days: Bruno - who has been a 'Strictly' judge since 2004 - is 'gutted' about missing this year's show, but he is 'so excited' to see Anton on the programme (Bruno, pictured in 2019)

Happy days: Bruno – who has been a ‘Strictly’ judge since 2004 – is ‘gutted’ about missing this year’s show, but he is ‘so excited’ to see Anton on the programme (Bruno, pictured in 2019)


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