Who Is Strictly Come Dancing Star Angela Rippon?

Is Angela the predicted dark horse of Strictly 2023...?

Angela Rippon

by Nikki Peach |
Published on

Strictly Come Dancing has come full circle. After 32 years as the host of Come Dancing between 1988 and 1991, Angela Rippon has joined the show as a contestant.

Come Dancing first started in September 1950 when the final of the British Formation Dancing Trophy was broadcast live from the Lyceum Ballroom in London.

In later years the programme became known as much for the costumes and the commentary as much as the dancing, much like today. But the original show was broadcast to lift the spirits of a country suffering in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Who is Angela Rippon?

Angela Rippon is a retired television journalist, newsreader, writer and presenter. She was the first female journalist to be given a permanent role presenting the BBC national television news.

She hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 1977. More recently, Angela has written fourteen books, hosted BBC One's The One Show, co-presented Rip Off Britain, presented Holiday Hit Squad and The Wall and has appeared on GB News.

In an interview with the Radio Times about her decision to join this year's Strictly cast, she said she wished she had been asked on the show 10 years earlier as she is 'not as fit or strong' as the younger contestants. However, Angela says she keeps fit through tennis, pilates and ballet. And she can still do the splits.

How old is Angela Rippon?

Angela Rippon was born on 12 October in 1944 making her 78 years old.

When did Angela Rippon work on Strictly Come Dancing?

Angela Rippon hosted Come Dancing from 1988 until 1991 – and even taking to the dancefloor herself on the odd occasion. She also returned for the 50th anniversary special in 1998.

When was Angela Rippon awarded a CBE?

Angela was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to dementia care in her role as development lead with Dementia Friendly Communities.

What dancing experience does Angela Rippon have?

While Angela is not a trained dancer and has never worked as a dancer, she was surrounded by the world of dance for many years. Strictly fans recently rediscovered her appearance on Morecambe and Wise's 1976 Christmas special and the clip, naturally, went viral.

In the video, Angela joins Eric and Ernie for a high-kicking dance routine and Strictly fans are now worried that the 78-year-old has secret dancing experience. But Angela has responded by saying, 'I was 37 for [Morecambe and Wise]! It was a very long time ago,' she pointed out. 'I presented Come Dancing, I didn't dance in Come Dancing.

'But I'm very fortunate I've been around dancers for a very long time and doing Come Dancing, I was chairman of the English National Ballet for four years – I've been around dancers. So I know what's required and I did go to ballet class until I was about 17.'

Who is Angela Rippon's Strictly partner?

This year Angela has been partnered up with Kai Widdrington. She said, 'I've told my pro there are things I can do, and thing's I can't do.' Well if her high kick at the end of her performance in week one was anything to go by, she can do a lot more than the rest of us.

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