Ex-Blackburn Rovers midfielder in Strictly Come Dancing
12:10am Wednesday 7th September 2011 in TV
Former Blackburn Rovers midfielder Robbie Savage has confirmed he will be slipping into sequins for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing.
He is among 14 stars who will battle it out for the glitter-ball trophy when the show returns to BBC1 for a ninth series later this month.
Also taking part will be boxing champion Audley Harrison, former MP Edwina Currie and the actress-turned-singer Holly Valance.
Other names taking part include TV astrologer Russell Grant - who has already shed several stone in preparation for the series - and ex-EastEnder Anita Dobson, famed for many years as put-upon Queen Vic landlady Angie Watts.
Singer Lulu and impressionist Rory Bremner will also be showing off their moves, while the inclusion of presenter Dan Lobb will ensure the dance show will be a regular discussion point on ITV1 breakfast show Daybreak.
At the more youthful end of the list of contestants are Harry Judd - drummer in chart band McFly - and actress Chelsee Healey, one of the stars of BBC1 drama Waterloo Road.
Her colleague Lucien Laviscount, from the Ribble Valley, is currently appearing in Celebrity Big Brother.
Nancy Dell'Olio, the former partner of Leicester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, completes the line-up.
Savage's move from the football pitch to the ballroom will raise a few eyebrows among football fans who knew him as one of the most aggressive figures in the game.
He has since carved out a career as a Radio 5 Live broadcaster, picking up a Rising Star prize at the Sony Radio Academy Awards earlier this year.
Savage said: "I just want people to change their perceptions of me.
"Off the field I'm a down to earth, normal guy and I want to learn something new in my life.
"I'm quite a nervous guy. On the football pitch I'm very secure but anything else I'm quite shy, so I'm hoping Strictly helps me to come out of my shell a bit.
Judges will once again by Len Goodman, Alesha Dixon, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli.
And Savage said he would not be answering back if the judges criticised him.
He said: "One thing my mother taught me is to respect your elders and respect people who know what they are doing.
"If the judges dis' me, who am I to tell them what they're doing? I'd never argue off the field, it's not who I am.
"My mother would kill me if I talk back to the judges. She calls me up on the radio regularly to tell me off."
The stars will be seen joining their new dance partners this weekend, but the pairings are being kept under wraps until then.
This year's series will feature the biggest scale live programme so far, with a broadcast from Wembley Arena in front around 6,500 fans for Children In Need.
BBC bosses have also revealed that the final - to be broadcast from the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool - will be screened in 3D for the first time.
Sir Bruce Forsyth will again return as show host, alongside Tess Daly, with Claudia Winkleman co-hosting the Sunday night results show.
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