PARALYMPIC table tennis player, Will Bayley MBE, is officially heading to the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom.
And the world number one sportsman is very eager to take on the new challenge! Here’s all we know about the talented table tennis star…
What has Will Bayley said about Strictly Come Dancing?
Will, 31, revealed he was incredibly excited to land the role as he was revealed on Julia Hartley-Brewer’s talkRADIO breakfast show.
Speaking about taking part, Will said: “I’m so proud to be on the show, it’s my family’s favourite show. I have no dance experience at all, but I hope I can do well.
“I want to inspire people with a disability – that would mean a lot to me. I want to prove to people I can do this.”
He added: “It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be a real challenge. My balance is affected.”
The Paralympian bagged his first gold medal at the Rio 2016 Summer Paralympics[/caption]
How much is Will Bayley being paid to join Strictly Come Dancing?
The sportsman could pocket a pretty penny taking part in Strictly Come Dancing, as each celebrity is given a standard £25,000 payment.
In 2018, The Sun revealed how contestants were given a quarter of a million when they signed up for the BBC One series.
If they make it to the semi-finals the figure climbs to £75,000 and the Strictly winner are paid a whopping £100,000.
What is Will Bayley’s background?
The 31-year-old was born on January 17, 1988, with arthrogryposis which affects all four of his limbs.
Arthrogryposis is the term for conditions that cause multiple curved joints in areas of the body at birth. It usually results in stiff joints and muscle weakness, and it is not seen as a genetic condition.
He learnt to play table tennis after he was diagnosed with cancer at the age of seven and his grandma bought him a table.
At the age of 12, he joined a table tennis club and went on to represent Kent’s able bodied men’s team.
He then lived and trained full time at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield at the age of 17.
Will is ranked as the number one table tennis player in the world[/caption]
How did Will Bayley get famous and what has he achieved?
Will represented Team GB at t he 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, China and failed to bring home a medal.
However he walked away with gold medals at both the German and Czech table tennis opens in 2009, as well as in Lignano and Brazil in 2010.
Will won a silver medal for Great Britain at the London 2012 Summer Paralympics and bagged his first gold medal at the Rio 2016 Summer Paralympics.
In 2017, he was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (BE) for services to table tennis.
Will also serves as an ambassador for Kent Sports Trust Foundation, Pepenbury and Disability Sports Coaching.
He was a Commonwealth Games ambassador for the Gold Coast Games in Australia 2018.
The table tennis player starred on an episode of Channel 4 show, First Dates, in 2016.
Months later Will went on to meet his partner Fiona York and the pair share daughter Bella.
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When can I watch Strictly Come Dancing 2019 on BBC One?
Strictly Come Dancing is returning for its 17th series on BBC One in 2019.
It kicks off with the red carpet launch on Monday, August 26, 2019.
The series premiere will follow shortly after, but a date is yet to be confirmed.
The main show will air live on Saturday evenings with the results the following day on Sundays.