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First four contestants for new series of RTE's Dancing with the Stars revealed

The show will return to RTE in January
Clodagh Meaney

The first four contestants for the brand new series of Dancing with the Stars have been revealed.

Appearing on the Late Late show last night, Gráinne Seoige, Aengus Mac Grianna, Ellen Keane, and Neil Delamere, were announced as the first of 12 celebrities who will battle it out on the dance floor to win the glitterball trophy.

Gráinne Seoige is one of the country's most recognisable TV presenters. She has worked in newsrooms at TG4, TV3 and Sky News Ireland.

The 48-year-old beauty has also hosted RTE shows Crimecall, Up for the Match, and The All Ireland Talent show.

More recently she’s moved home from South Africa, where she was building a diamond empire with husband Leon Jordaan. She now lives in her home county of Galway.

“I am excited and petrified in equal measure to be joining Dancing with the Stars,” she said.

“I’ve always wanted to learn to dance, and now, I’m getting the chance to learn from the very best in the country. Let’s see how it goes!”

Aengus Mac Grianna is another familiar face from RTE.

The 57-year-old was a news reporter and anchor for over 30 years, and was one of the most popular newsreaders in the country.

Having been with the station for over thirty years, Aengus called it a day in 2018, signing off the Six-One News on St. Patrick’s Day for the final time.

Aside from newscasting, in 2013 Aengus appeared on Celebrity MasterChef, finishing as runner-up on the series.

“I love a challenge that pushes me way out of my comfort zone,” he said.

“Dancing with the Stars is high-energy show business and is definitely the most physically demanding challenge I have ever undertaken. Given that I don’t dance I am both excited and terrified about the weeks ahead.”

Meanwhile, Paralympic swimmer Ellen Keane will be swapping swim suits for ball gowns.

She competed in the last two Paralympic Summer Games, winning gold at Tokyo 2020. In 2016, Ellen achieved a Bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro. Not content with that success, she spent the following five years focusing on reaching her goal, and this summer she did it, taking home the Gold.

Ellen is now in training for Paris 2024 but wants to squeeze in a Glitterball trophy along the way.

“I am so excited for the show to begin. I am such a competitor, so I’m in it to win it, but I’m really looking forward to having a good time, learning new skills and making new friends,” she said.

“I’m loving this because I get to be dry and have my hair and make-up done and experience all the glamour that comes with Dancing with the Stars. I can’t wait to show people what I can do.”

Offaly born comedian Neil Delamere is also set to take to Ireland’s most famous dance floor.

He began his career at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival, and has had a lengthy career on Irish television appearing on RTÉ comedy shows like The Panel, Just for Laughs, and Republic of Telly as well as the BBC panel show, The Blame Game.

He has also dipped his toe into factual entertainment shows, fronting documentaries including The Only Viking in the Village and There’s Something about Patrick.

“I'm very excited to be on the show. I'm hoping to discover a hitherto entirely absent talent for dancing,” he said.

“So far, I've only gotten as far as saying "Flatley, Flatley Flatley" and the great man appears to give you a lesson,” he joked.

“I currently dance like a full-back shepherding the ball out of play, but hopefully, that changes over the next few weeks. Some of my friends from the comedy scene have been on the show and raved about how much craic it was, so I can't wait.”

Dancing with the Stars will return to screens in January 2022, with 12 new celebrity dancers hoping to make it all the way to the final.

The popular Sunday evening competition, will run from January to March and provide some much-welcomed glitz, glamour and truckloads of sparkles to kick off the New Year.

Presenters Jennifer Zamparelli and Nicky Byrne will be back at the helm of the series, as will judges Lorraine Barry and Brian Redmond

They will be joined by a new panel member, dancer and acclaimed choreographer, Arthur Gourounlian.

Social reporter James Patrice is also back for the new season with his access-all-areas backstage pass to bring fans all the latest news and updates from the training room and the dance floor on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.

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