Strictly’s Jacqui Smith tipped to be first star to leave BBC show

Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith stunned Strictly Come Dancing fans when she announced she had signed up to appear on the upcoming 2020 series.

The 57-year-old Labour politician explained she was "speechless" when approached to be part of the BBC dancing show and couldn't wait to "throw myself into it."

However, it seems she could be the first celebrity to be voted off the show when it launches this weekend, as she is far from favourite to win.

According to bookmakers Ladbrokes, Jacqui is the clear favourite to be the first famous face to be eliminated from the dancing competition.

The bookies have the former MP priced at even-money to exit the show this weekend, with Good Morning Britain's Ranvir Singh 3/1 second-favourite for the boot.

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: "Jacqui's time on the Strictly dance floor looks set to come to an end in the next couple of days with punters clearly convinced she'll be the first to go."

At the other end of the scale EastEnders beauty Maisie Smith continues to head the betting and her odds have been cut once again to just 15/8 to go all the way this year, putting her ahead of joint second-favourites singer HRVY and The Wanted's Max George at 5/1.

Speaking about taking part on the show, acqui said: "I was speechless with excitement at being asked to join Strictly – and that’s very rare for me.

“Fifty years ago, I got a bronze medal for Scottish Highland Dancing and it feels about time to return to dancing.

“I couldn’t be in better hands with the Strictly team and I’m going to throw myself into the challenge. Watch out!”

Strictly Come Dancing will return for its 18th series on Saturday October 24 following the launch show last weekend which showed the celebrities coupling up with their professional dance partner.

Jacqui is partnered with Strictly veteran Anton Du Beke and the pair have been busy perfecting their routine over the past few weeks.

The duo are planning to add a touch of class with a hint of comedy to the opening show with a Foxtrot to Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life by Monty Python.

Jacqui follows in the footsteps of fellow politicians Ann Widdecombe and Ed Balls, who previously took part on the show.

Sharing the Strictly advice Ed passed onto her, Jacqui told :Nobody can ever compete with Ed’s Gangnam Style, but what he said to me was actually, 'Embrace it and really go for it and try hard', and I promise you that is what I’m going to do."

Will Jacqui prove the doubters wrong and waltz her way through to week two?

Strictly Come Dancing airs on BBC One on Saturday at 7.25pm

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