By News Team
Last Updated: 19th October 2020
It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Strictly Come Dancing is back.
Yep, that’s right – Strictly has returned for its 18th series and we’ve taken a look at how the 12 celebrity contestants rank in the early betting for this year’s Glitterball Trophy.
Sitting at the top of the market ahead of the new series is none other than EastEnders star Maisie Smith at 6/4. Maisie is best known for playing Tiffany Butcher in the BBC soap, while she also starred in The Other Boleyn Girl. Maisie, who is paired with Gorka Márquez, has hip-hop experience from her days at stage school, while she won the Children in Need version of Strictly last year, which probably explains her role as the early favourite…
Sitting second in the betting behind Maisie is singer and YouTuber HRVY, who officially goes by the name of Harvey Leigh Cantwell and is 5/1 to claim the Glitterball Trophy this year. HRVY has over a billion combined streams to his name, has released an album and a number of singles. A man of many talents, but how will he take to the dance floor? His dance partner for the series will be Janette Manrara.
Maisie and HRVY’s fellow early frontrunner at this stage is Max George, formerly one-fifth of popular boy band The Wanted. Singer-songwriter Max helped The Wanted to two UK number one hits with ‘All Time Low’ and ‘Glad You Came’ as well as eight more top 10 tracks. They have been inactive since 2014, but a few of the moves he performed on stage will no doubt have put him in good stead for his time on Strictly, where he is 11/2 for victory and due to link up with Dianne Buswell.
Next in line in the betting is former NFL star Jason Bell at 7/1. Bell, who will team up with Luba Mushtuk this series, started his American football career in 2001 with the Dallas Cowboys before going on to play for the Houston Texans and the New York Giants. Bell, who now acts as an NFL pundit, will be looking to transfer his sporting speed and power to the Strictly dancefloor.
Also priced at 7/1 to go all the way is a contestant who should have been in last year’s series of Strictly instead. Jamie Laing of Made in Chelsea fame, who will be paired with Karen Hauer, was due to take part in the previous series, only to have to pull out on the eve of the first episode when a dance move went wrong and left him injured. Jamie was eventually replaced by former Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher, who went on to win the series, but he’ll be hoping for better luck this time around.
Sixth in the running at 12/1 is BBC Radio1 DJ Clara Amfo, who will be dancing alongside Aljaz Skorjanec during the current series. As well as DJing, Amfo has plenty of experience in TV presenting, having hosted the likes of ITV2’s coverage of The BRIT Awards and BBC’s coverage of Glastonbury Festival, Radio 1’s Big Weekend and The Proms, while she is also the host of Sony Music and Spotify podcast This City.
Best of the rest
Elsewhere, double Olympic gold medallist boxer Nicola Adams and Men Behaving Badly star Caroline Quentin also follow behind at 12/1, with comedian Bill Bailey at 20/1. Royal marine turned sports presenter JJ Chalmers is 33/1 alongside Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh, while lastly former MP Jacqui Smith is priced at 100/1.