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TV star ‘signs up’ to become Strictly Come Dancing’s first blind contestant-Emily Bashforth-Entertainment – Metro

Strictly could be set to make history once again.

TV star ‘signs up’ to become Strictly Come Dancing’s first blind contestant-Emily Bashforth-Entertainment – Metro

The Strictly Come Dancing rumour mill is starting to turn… (Picture: BBC)

It’s that time of year when the Strictly Come Dancing rumours are in full swing, with the latest being that the show has signed its first-ever blind contestant.

According to reports, comedian Chris McCausland will be taking part in the BBC dance contest when it returns to screen later this year.

His appearance would come after EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis lifted the trophy in 2021, with her pro partner Giovanni Pernice, whose future on the show is currently uncertain due to a string of allegations.

It also comes amid reports that the likes of Mollie Pearce from The Traitors and Bank of Dave star Dave Fishwick have also been in talks with bosses.

A source said: ‘Strictly Come Dancing bosses are delighted by the signing and think Chris will be great on the show. He has a hilarious sense of humour and an infectious personality.

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‘Producers are really keen to showcase disability on TV and are conscious of how important it is. Chris loves working and doing TV so it’s the perfect project.

Chris McCausland could become Strictly’s first blind contestant (Picture: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

‘Chris has spoken openly of his sight issues and is determined to show it won’t hold him back on the ballroom dancefloor.’

The insider added to The Sun: ‘He’s been gigging non-stop for decades so is a real pro at performing in front of crowds.

‘He is up for the challenge of learning how to dance and is prepared to put in hard work and long hours in training.’

It’s said Chris is ‘also hoping to have a lot of fun and raise his profile, like a lot of celebs taking part on Strictly.’

‘The pro dancers will all want to be partnered with him to embrace a new challenge and a show first.’

Chris, 46, is blind due to retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic disorder that causes loss of vision.

By the age of 22, he had lost his sight completely and has often spoken about the struggles he faces, as well as weaving his sight loss into his stand-up routines.

Chris lost his full sight in his early twenties (Picture: ITV/Matt Frost/REX/Shutterstock)

The comedian has become a real success on TV in recent years (Picture: Jonathan Brady/WPA Pool/REX/Shutterstock)

The Liverpool-born TV star, who has a 10-year-old daughter named Sophie with his wife Patricia, previously admitted it was ‘painful’ to lose his vision.

‘When it started happening, it was scary and embarrassing,’ he shared.

‘I got myself into bad situations because I didn’t want to ask for help. I will never be on a level playing field with everyone else.’

Clarifying misconceptions, however, Chris has said that, while he is registered blind, he doesn’t see total black.

Speaking last year on Channel 4’s Scared of the Dark, he explained that he ‘still sees light and space’ and has ‘an awareness of the space around [him], not in terms of objects and things, but in terms of the room and whether there might be something in front of [him].’

‘It just gives you that awareness that you’re taking that away from me,’ he added.

Sources claim Chris is hoping to ‘raise his profile’ on the dance show (Picture: Ash Knotek/REX/Shutterstock)

Rose Ayling-Ellis won Strictly with Giovanni Pernice in 2021. She was the first-ever deaf contestant (Picture: PA)

‘I’m a slave to my iPhone like everybody else. So on paper, you go, “Well, I should nail this,” but in one area I should be more practically adjusted.’

Chris, who fronted a travel show in 2023, also expressed feeling ‘sad’ when he wasn’t able to marvel at the likes of Niagara Falls in person.

He told iNews: ‘Don’t get me wrong, I’m much more accepting of who I am these days – I’ve stopped having tantrums every time I spill drinks or bang my head on the door frame – and if someone said they could insert a chip into my retina that would give me back 10% of my sight I’d just think, what’s the point? But a miracle to cure my blindness completely?’

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Pausing, he added: ‘Yeah, I’d consider that.’

As well as his stand-up performances, Chris is also known to TV audiences for his role as Rudi in the CBeebies show Me Too!

In recent years, he’s become a regular on late-night panel shows, such as 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Would I Lie to You?, and Have I Got News for You.

When contacted, the BBC declined to comment on any Strictly line-up speculation.

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