CBBC star Rhys Stephenson will make his Strictly Come Dancing debut on Saturday, following in the footsteps of fellow CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual.
“I am BUZZING to be a part of Strictly Come Dancing 2021. I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation,” he said.
“I cannot wait to experience it all: the costumes, the orchestra, even Craig’s glare! I am READY!”
Asked what kind of flamboyant costumes he is hoping to don during his time on the show, Rhys said: “I want something with a cape… A cape commands respect”.
But he added that he’s not that bothered so long as the outfits he’s given are “epic”.
And as well as juggling his busy Strictly schedule, Rhys will also still be making appearances on CBBC, where he is usually spotted alongside Hacker the dog.
For more of the news you care about, straight to your inbox, sign up for one of our daily newsletters here.
“I’m still going to be a presence on the channel, I can’t just abandon CBBC,” he said.
“I probably won’t be on as much, obviously because I’ll be rehearsing, but I can’t stay away from Hacker the dog that long.”
Rhys says he’s wanted to do Strictly ever since seeing Jay McGuinness perform his iconic jive to Pulp Fiction.
“We didn’t watch Strictly in the house at that point, but my Dad just switched the TV on randomly, and I remember going ‘Oh this is Pulp Fiction, this is kind of cool,'” he told The Mirror.
“And I sat there and they just exploded and my jaw hit the ground and honestly in this dance, I thought, ‘I need to watch the whole series and I need to see him win’, and I stuck with it the whole time and after that I became a huge fan.”
During a previous interview with the BBC, Rhys revealed he had an agonising injury after a motorbike crash.
“I injured myself when I crashed my mountain bike – I ended up with a hole in my foot!” he revealed in the game of ‘Three truths and three lies’.
He also admitted he once took part in “goat yoga” and f ell off his friend’s roof trying to get a football.
In July this year, Rhys became an ambassador for Place2Be, a charity which works to support the mental health of children, and he visited a school for a special workshop where the children made a time capsule.
Rhys said of his visit: “There is a lot of trauma, but I was struck by how much hope and laughter we experienced too. I feel like I properly saw into the heart of Place2Be through those children.”
A six-year-old student told Rhys the workshop was very helpful, saying: “I went to Place2Be because I was worried, and then afterwards I felt unworried.”
Do you have a story to share? We’d love to hear all about it. Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
* Strictly Come Dancing launches on Saturday, 18th September at 7:45pm on BBC OneInternet Explorer Channel Network