Lauren Steadman has become the thirteenth confirmed celeb for Strictly Come Dancing 2018.
She is the thirteenth celebrity contestant announced for this year's Strictly line up.
Lauren Steadman is a double World Champion Paratriathlete, Paralympic Silver medallist and six times European Champion. She was born missing her lower right arm, but this has only spurred her on to be the best she can be, and she relishes the challenge of overcoming these barriers. Lauren started her sporting career in swimming at the age of 11, with her first international competition at age 13 in Denmark.
At 14, she went to Beijing Paralympics Games at which point her career really took off. Such was her talent, Lauren switched sports from swimming to triathlon after London 2012’s Paralympic Games where she then went on to win silver at Rio 2016 in the sport’s inaugural inclusion at the Games.
This September Lauren will be competing in the Elite Paratriathlon Grand Final in the Gold Coast Australia, she heads there as the European Champion and will be hoping to regain her World Champion Title.
Lauren said: “I still don’t think it has properly sunk in that I’m actually going to be part of this year’s Strictly! I have loved the show since I was young, and it’s a huge thing to tick off my bucket list. I’m more nervous about being on stage, performing live and in front of the judges than I am about the Elite Paratriathlon Grand Final next month!
"But I’m up for the challenge and excited to swap my triathlon kit for dancing shoes and sequins.”
Lauren joins Popstar turned soap actor Lee Ryan on the cast.
Lee Ryan is most well-known for being a part of super successful boy band Blue and more recently playing EastEnders bad-boy Woody Woodward. Lee rose to fame in the early 2000s as part of Blue along with Simon Webbe, Antony Costa and Duncan James.
He said today: “I’m so excited to be joining this year’s Strictly line-up. It is a real honour for me and I can’t wait to get out on the dance floor.”
Also confirmed for the cast of Strictly 2018 are documentary maker Stacey Dooley, TV doctor Dr Ranj, Cricketer Graeme Swann, radio DJ and TV host Vick Hope, YouTube vlogger Joe Sugg, Steps singer Faye Tozer, actor Danny John-Jules and Katie Piper on this year's confirmed cast.
Joining them are Pussycat Doll singer Ashley Roberts, BBC journalist and newsreader Kate Silverton and comedian Seann Walsh.
The remaining celebrity contestants joining the new series will be announced in the coming days.
Strictly Come Dancing launches on BBC One in September with its red carpet launch show.