STRICTLY 2019: ALEX SCOTT MBE JOINS LINE UP 0 15

Alex Scott MBE is a sports pundit, presenter and former professional footballer.

The 17th series of the NTA and Bafta award-winning entertainment show produced by BBC Studios will return in the autumn on BBC One putting the sparkle back into Saturday and Sunday nights.

Alex says: “I am absolutely buzzing to be signed up to Strictly. It’s the show I’ve always wanted to do and I can’t believe I’m finally going to be part of it. I’m super excited, but also terrified at the same time… The football pitch is a bit less glam than the ballroom, but I’m ready to try the sequins and dresses! Bring it on!”

The former Arsenal captain is a well-regarded pundit for BBC and Sky Sports and a regular on BBC’s Match Of The Day.

Alex signed with Arsenal aged eight and stayed with the team for most of her career. Alex helped the club achieve a domestic double of the FA Women’s Cup and the FA Women’s Premier League. She was also a key figure in the historic quadruple season for Arsenal in which they won all their trophy competitions. Alex then led the team as captain for the 2014/15 season. While playing for England, Alex travelled the world playing football, also representing Great Britain in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. When she retired in 2017, Alex was the second most capped England player with 140 appearances.

Since her retirement in 2018, Alex has begun a successful broadcasting career. Alex is a key member of BBC Sport’s football broadcasting team and has become a regular face for Sky Sports football coverage. Alex made history last August as the first female Sky pundit on a Sky Sports’ Super Sunday and made waves as a fresh addition to the BBC World Cup commentary line up.

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STRICTLY 2019: ANNEKA RICE JOINS LINE-UP 0 18

Anneka Rice is an award-winning broadcaster.

The 17th series of the NTA and Bafta award-winning entertainment show produced by BBC Studios will return in the autumn on BBC One putting the sparkle back into Saturday and Sunday nights.

Anneka says: “I haven’t danced since I was seven and Miss Beer sent me home from my ballet class because I was hopelessly uncoordinated. My family and friends haven’t seen me dance since, not at a wedding or round a handbag so it’s going to be a challenge for my partner. In fact I’ve asked for two, one on each side. I can’t see myself in a long frilly dress either. But I’m feeling recklessly excited. Strictly has always been my Autumn’s entertainment and now I’m part of it! My children will probably leave the country”.

Anneka Rice shot to fame in this country as the Sky-Runner in Channel 4’s Treasure Hunt.

She also presented Sporting Chance, TV-am, Driving Force, Wish You Were Here, Capital Woman, Combat, Holiday, Hell’s Kitchen, The Royal Variety Performance and numerous other shows.

She went on to devise the award-winning Challenge Anneka for BBC One, shining a spotlight on issues like disability, homelessness and animal welfare and has raised millions of pounds worth of supplies and services for charities and communities.

Her radio work includes the Radio 2 Saturday Breakfast Show which she presented for six years; Pick Of The Week, Friday Night Is Music Night, The Arts Show, Sunday Love Songs, Loose Ends, and the award-winning podcast Fortunately.

She is a Patron of Operation Encompass, Help for Heroes and Horatio’s Garden.

CASUALTY NEWS: JANE HAZLEGROVE TO RETURN AS DIXIE 0 19

Casualty fans can expect to see a familiar face back on screen soon, as Jane Hazlegrove is set to reprise her role as Dixie for two episodes in Casualty’s new series this autumn.

Making an appearance as part of the HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) team, Dixie arrives at a call out in the nick of time to assist the paramedic team with a young lad who has a life-threatening chest injury.

But it’s not just the patient who Dixie will have an impact on. Seeing an old colleague taking on a whole new challenge really leaves an impression on Iain and leads him to think about his own future.

Jane Hazlegrove says: “It was really great to see some familiar faces again and of course to hang out with Sir Michael Stevenson… despite the fact that his jokes haven’t got any better!”

Simon Harper, Executive Producer Casualty and Holby City, says: “It’s wonderful to have the brilliant Jane Hazlegrove back in the Casualty family fold. Dixie was and remains a massively popular character with the audience who miss her to this day, and she and Iain are clearly going to have a lot to catch up on after his tumultuous year.”