Strictly Come Dancing 2019 returns to screens this September and the celebrity line-up is finally complete. Olympic rower James Cracknell OBE, will be taking part in Strictly this year alongside Paralympian Will Bayley MBE, Jamie Laing, Michelle Visage, Karim Zeroual, Viscountess Emma Weymouth, Emma Barton, Chris Ramsey, David James, Saffron Barker, Mike Bushell, Catherine Tyldesley, Alex Scott, Dev Griffin and Anneka Rice. The Strictly launch show will air in early September, where the stars will find out their celebrity partners and Kylie Minogue will perform a melody of her greatest hits.
Who is Strictly Come Dancing 2019 star James Cracknell?
James Cracknell OBE was the 14th Strictly Come Dancing 2019 contestant to be revealed.
Cracknell is a former rowing World Champion and double Olympic Gold Medalist.
He won both his gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Games and 2004 Athens Games alongside teammates Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent.
The news that Cracknell would be taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year was revealed this morning on Good Morning Britain (Wednesday, August 7).
In a statement, he said: “I’m really looking forward to being a part of Strictly this year. Having spent so many years mucking around in a rowing boat with big men in tight lycra, it’s time I learned a new skill. I need to apologise to my kids in advance for the embarrassment.”
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Cracknell is 47-years-old and from Sutton, London. He was married to TV and radio presenter Beverley Turner and they have three children together, Croyde, Kiki and Trixie.
In March 2019, Cracknell and Turner announced they had separated after 17 years together and they are soon-to-be-divorced.
Since winning Olympic Gold in 2004, he has taken on other challenges including The Race Across the Atlantic in 2006, where he and Ben Fogle finished first, and the Yukon Arctic Ultra, cycling over 430 miles in the race across the frozen Alaskan countryside, becoming the highest placed Briton ever finishing 12th.
In 2010, he attempted to travel across America by only cycling, running, rowing and swimming.
However, his trip came to an unfortunate end when he suffered a near-fatal accident after being hit by a truck whilst cycling through Arizona.
In the crash, Cracknell suffered a contrecoup injury to the frontal lobes of his brain.
Since then, he has been an advocate for helmet safety, attributing his survival to wearing a cycle helmet at the time.
In 2012, Cracknell and his wife wrote a book called Touching Distance about his life before and after his brain injury, which left him suffering from epilepsy, slower speech and a short temper.
Cracknell is currently the BBC’s commentator for Rowing, most notably covering the Rio Olympics in 2016.
He has previously had a presenting sports role on ITV and Channel 4.
Cracknell has also written for The Daily Telegraph in numerous column including sport, motoring, gardening and cookery.
Recently, Cracknell has become the oldest Boat Race champion as part of Cambridge University’s winning crew at the 165th Boat Race this year.
He also just completed studying for his Masters in Philosophy at Cambridge University.
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Does James Cracknell have any dance experience?
At the moment it is unclear whether Cracknell has any dance experience.
Unlike some of the other contestants, he does not have a background in performing.
Cracknell’s professional dance partner on the show has not yet been revealed.
The dancing couples will not be unveiled until the Strictly Come Dancing 2019 launch show at the end of August.
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Who are the Strictly Come Dancing 2019 contestants?
So far, 14 Strictly Come Dancing contestants have been announced. They are:
• Actress Emma Barton
• Footballer David James
• Comedian Chris Ramsey
• Coronation Streets Catherine Tyldesley
• Youtuber Saffron Barker
• Sports presenter Mike Bushell
• CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual
• Viscountess Emma Weymouth
• American TV Personality Michelle Visage
• Paralympian Will Bayley
• Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing
• Footballer Alex Scott
• Radio 1 DJ Dev Griffin
• Olympic rower James Cracknell
Strictly Come Dancing 2019 returns to BBC One in September