The 14th series of Strictly Come Dancing will hit our TV screens this September, with the celebrity line-up beginning to take shape.
Seven contestants have already been announced – former Pop Idol winner Will Young, Louise Redknapp, previous Hollyoaks actor Danny Mac, politician Ed Balls and presenting trio Melvin Odoom, Ore Oduba and Laura Whitmore.
Redknapp is among the more high profile of this collection and would appear to have an early advantage over her rivals due to dancing at a younger age.
She has revealed: “I went to stage school I did tap and ballet until I was 16, and then I went into Eternal where we did lots of hand clapping and lots of running man.”
The 41-year-old added that she hasn’t “been in a dance studio since I recorded Naked 20 years ago”, but dance is one of those things, like riding a bike, that can be quickly picked back up.
Meanwhile, the fact she has previously been a judge on the talent show ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ suggests Redknapp is much more advanced than a novice dancer.
And based on recent Strictly series, being a woman and hailing from a background of dance is a big negative towards their chances of victory.
The voting public seemingly have a preference for contestants who can embark on a journey from someone initially having two left feet, to showing significant improvement to hold their own with more talented movers.
Call The Midwife actress Helen George fell foul of this last year when only finishing sixth despite having prior experience of contemporary dance, jazz, jive and tap.
Former Coronation Street actress Natalie Gumede came from a similar background in 2013, as she was already considered to be highly skilled in the likes of jazz, tap and Latin-American dance. She made the final, but lost to Abbey Clancy.
Louise is 8/1 to win Strictly in 2016, but even though she can be expected to be placed towards the top of the leaderboard, especially in the early weeks, recent history suggests this won’t be enough to lift the Glitterball trophy.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.