It was announced this morning that James, who plays Martin Fowler on the BBC One soap, is the 14th celebrity set to take to the dancefloor as part of 2022 line-up.
‘I’m not known for my shimmy or my twinkle toes – in fact my kids regularly laugh at my dad dancing but it’s an honour to be asked and I’m going to give it my best shot,’ he said when news of his Strictly participation broke.
‘There are some huge dance shoes to fill and it’s truly exciting to follow in the footsteps of some amazing EastEnders talent. I’d love to do everyone proud.’
James’ involvement on Strictly was announced on Good Morning Britain, where he admitted that while he’s had ‘quite a while’ to wrap his head around it, ‘it’s still not really sunk in’.
Several of his EastEnders cast mates, however, were quick to rejoice at the news.
Gillian Wright, who plays Jean Slater, commented on James’ post on Instagram, writing: ‘You’ll be brilliant! Hurrah! That was a hard secret to keep!’
Janine Butcher legend Charlie Brooks, meanwhile, added: ‘Oh my god! This is EXCELLENT news!!’
Maisie Smith and Emma Barton, who both competed in Strictly and made it all the way to the final in their respective years, were also quick to offer their support, with Maisie writing: ‘YES YES YES’, while Emma replied: ‘Over the moon!! You are going to be brilliant!! Loves ya’
Last year’s Strictly winner Rose Ayling-Ellis – who plays Frankie Lewis in EastEnders – also commented, writing: ‘Can’t wait to watch you!!! Very exciting’, while James Farrar (Zack Hudson) exclaimed: ‘You win and we are snogging live on TV.’
Davood Ghadami, who played Kush Kazemi, took to Twitter, telling his followers that he’s ‘excited’ to see James in action, adding that he’s ‘seen what those hips can do’.
The Strictly 2022 line-up is almost complete, with yesterday’s signings including singer Fleur East and Countryfile presenter Hamza Yassin.
Singer Matt Goss was previously announced, as was Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds and Ted Lasso star Ellie Taylor.
Britain’s Got Talent star Molly Rainford will also be taking part, as well as comedian Jayde Adams, Coronation Street star Kym Marsh and Loose Women panelist Kaye Adams.
They will also compete against former England footballer Tony Adams, Kiss FM presenter Tyler West, actor Will Mellor and TV and radio presenter Richie Anderson.
It’s going to be quite the series!
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One and BBC iPlayer later this year. EastEnders, meanwhile, airs Mondays to Thursdays at 7:30pm on BBC One, or stream a whole week’s worth of episodes on BBC iPlayer.
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