Dancer Darcy Bussell is to join the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel when the show returns this autumn, it has been confirmed.
The former Principal Dancer at the Royal Ballet will replace singer Alesha Dixon, who is now appearing on rival reality show, Britain’s Got Talent.
Bussell, who previously appeared on the programme as a guest judge in 2009, will sit alongside long-standing judges Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman and Craig Revel Horwood.
Of her new role, Darcy told the BBC:
“I had such a lovely experience in 2009 when I was a guest judge, that coming on board now feels very natural. Strictly combines quality dance and great entertainment, which is such a positive for everybody involved.
“I am very excited and really looking forward to being part of the Strictly team.”
Station controller Danny Cohen described Strictly as the “jewel in BBC One’s crown” and said that there was “no-one better” to join the panel.
Alesha Dixon joined Strictly in 2009, replacing Arlene Phillips; a move that sparked controversy among audiences.
She announced her departure from the show in January 2012, after being offered a judging role on ITV1′s Britain’s Got Talent.
Strictly Come Dancing returns to our screens later this year.
Jessie refuses to work with 'gimmicks'
Singer Jessie J has reportedly turned down Simon Cowell’s offer of a judging spot on the next series of the X Factor.
Music mogul Cowell admitted last week that he wanted the Price Tag singer on the panel, following her success on rival reality show, The Voice.
However, Jessie has since told the Sunday Mirror that she wouldn’t work on a show that relies on “gimmicks”:
“It’s very nice of Simon to say nice things about me. But The Voice is the show I want to work on and I’m not going anywhere. It’s the show that represents everything I am about.
“I’ve always supported X Factor and BGT. I’ve been on both and performed. But I love being part of The Voice and I genuinely want these people to come out of this show at the end and know that they’re equipped to tackle the music industry.
“It’s bloody hard and we don’t want them to just have 12 months of a career. This is about getting them on the ladder for the long run. The Voice isn’t about gimmicks. X Factor rely on that and that’s their thing but it’s not our thing.”
Veteran X Factor judge Louis Walsh let slip last week that he would be returning to the judging panel for the next season, telling the Mirror:
“I am so happy to have signed up for another year. It’s my ninth year, I’m the only person to be in it for nine years… I’m busy now from here until Christmas. I signed the deal yesterday – making it my ninth year on the show.”
Walsh also claimed that fellow judges Tulisa Contostavlos and Gary Barlow would be returning, but he wasn’t “sure if Kelly [Rowland] is back”.
Jessie is currently appearing as a coach on the The Voice, alongside Sir Tom Jones, The Script’s Danny O’Donogue and Black Eyed Peas star and producer, will.i.am.
Image: myspace.com /seanconlonmusic
Former boyband member Sean Conlon has reportedly been rejected from The Voice, after auditioning for the new BBC One reality show.
Sean, who was part of 90s group Five, didn’t make it through to the next stage of the competition, after all four coaches chose not to turn their chairs around.
Mentor Jessie J revealed that she was shocked to see the 30-year-old singer, telling Bang Showbiz:
“I was so excited about Sean from Five auditioning but I couldn’t believe I didn’t turn around for him. He was the first concert I ever went to.
“The way I react when I realise it’s him will be the moment people realise I am still very much in a dream world and pinching myself that I’m here.”
Conlon apparently said he was “gutted” to have failed the audition, admitting that he was looking forward to closing “the door on Sean from Five”.
The Voice format encourages mentors to pick singers from their voice alone through ‘blind’ auditions, with each coach turning their chair around if they like what they hear.
The show will launch on BBC One on 24 March at 7pm, clashing with the first in a new series of Britain’s Got Talent on ITV1.