Returning for its 19th series, Strictly Come Dancing has confirmed that Nina Wadia OBE has joined the 2021 line-up.
The actor was announced on ITV’s Lorraine, following a week of big reveals ahead of its return later this year.
Nina said of the news: “I’ve always danced like nobody’s watching, so if we blindfold the judges I could actually win Strictly 2021.”
She further confesses: “I am so scared… I like dancing like no one is watching, so we just need to blindfold the judges and I will win.
I think I should do this before I am too old and I can’t walk anymore. I think this is the last year I am ever wearing heels.
I think a lot has happened in the last couple of years and I just want to grab life by the balls and enjoy it!”
Wadia is best known for playing Zainab Masood in the BBC soap, Eastenders.
She has also starred in Goodness Gracious Me, Open All Hours spin-off Still Open All Hours and Bollywood film Namastey London.
Nina is no stranger to dance. Born and bred in Mumbai, she began training in classical Indian dancing at ‘Vyajayanthimala Bharatnatyam School’.
After moving to Hong Kong, she chose to learn tap dancing due to the academy not having a Chinese branch.
It was at that point where her love for dancing transformed into a passion for acting… And the rest is history.
She was also bestowed with the ‘OBE’ title in 2021 as part of the New Year Honours List.
Speaking on the same, Nina expressed: “Now it’s sort of sunk in, I genuinely am still finding it hard to believe.
I’m very excited of course, I feel it’s a huge, huge honour that this has come my way. It’s made my last 30 years of my career, all the hard times, feel worthwhile.”
Additional to her tremendous work in the performing arts field, she has supported the charity JDRF since her son, Aidan, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2017 at the age of 10.
So far, the BBC has confirmed 11 contestants for this year’s series, which is likely to air in late September.
It will reportedly see the first-ever all-male partnership, along with a new judging panel.
Show favourite Anton Du Beke will swap the dancefloor for the panel as he replaces Bruno Tonioli to deliver his verdicts on the dancers.
Other contestants also (potentially) include: AJ Odudu, Dan Walker, Greg Wise, John Whaite, Katie McGlynn, Rhys Stephenson, Robert Webb, Sara Davies, Tilly Ramsay and Tom Fletcher.
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later this year.
Watch our interview with Nina Wadia here: