DANCING WITH THE STARS ***NEW SERIES***

Dancing with the Stars Tomas O'Leary HR Image Name: Dancing with the Stars Tomas O'Leary HR
Dancing with the Stars Rob Heffernan HR Image Name: Dancing with the Stars Rob Heffernan HR
Dancing with the Stars Norah Casey HR Image Name: Dancing with the Stars Norah Casey HR
Dancing with the Stars Marty Morrissey HR Image Name: Dancing with the Stars Marty Morrissey HR
Dancing with the Stars Maia Dunphy HR Image Name: Dancing with the Stars Maia Dunphy HR
Dancing with the Stars Jake Carter HR Image Name: Dancing with the Stars Jake Carter HR
Dancing with the Stars Deirdre O'Kane HR Image Name: Dancing with the Stars Deirdre O'Kane HR
Dancing with the Stars Bernard O'Shea HR Image Name: Dancing with the Stars Bernard O'Shea HR
Dancing with the Stars Aoife Walsh HR Image Name: Dancing with the Stars Aoife Walsh HR
Dancing with the Stars Anna Geary HR Image Name: Dancing with the Stars Anna Geary HR
Dancing with the Stars Erin McGregor HR Image Name: Dancing with the Stars Erin McGregor HR

Dancing with the Stars returns for a brand new sparkly series on January 7th at 6.30pm on RTÉ One.

Amanda Byram and Nicky Byrne will return once again to present the new series of Dancing with the Stars.  Airing on RTÉ One for 12 weeks from 6.30pm Sunday 7th January, a total of 11 celebrities will pair up with their professional dancing partners as they step out of their comfort zones and onto the dancefloor, each hoping to claim the much-coveted glitter ball trophy at the end of the series.

This year’s line up includes;

Award-winning actor, comedian and presenter Deirdre O’Kane became the first celebrity contestant to be revealed to the public. Speaking about taking part in Dancing with the Stars this year Deirdre said: “I’m excited and nervous but I can’t wait to take part in this season’s Dancing with the Stars. This is a whole new experience for me but what better way to banish the January blues than to take to the dance floor!”

Hot on the heels of Deirdre O’Kane, fellow comedian and broadcaster Bernard O’Shea was confirmed to shimmy his way on to show. “I’m feeling exceptionally nervous, but looking forward to the challenge!  I don’t think my wife has ever forgiven me for not doing our first dance at our wedding.  I have a genuine fear of dancing.  If you were to ask me would you prefer to jump out of a plane without a parachute or dance on live television, I’d say how high is the aeroplane? Jennifer Zamparelli said to me I should step out of my comfort zone and that’s exactly what I’m doing.  I think my dance partner will have her work cut out with me – but look, if she can make me dance, she can make anyone dance.”

Broadcaster and author Maia Dunphy spoke about her involvement saying: “I’m incredibly nervous and very excited – as I’m sure everyone else is as well. The only dancing I do is throwing shapes at weddings. I did ballet when I was four – but my career was over by the age of six. If I didn’t say yes to this I was going to be a Christmas elf for Santa’s grotto over the Christmas season – so I thought this was a better option! I also wanted to have a valid reason to buy active wear because I don’t have any”.

Speaking about his participation in the hit television show GAA Correspondent and  commentator Marty Morrissey said: “I am delighted but I am nervous! It’s an opportunity of a life time to do something way outside my comfort zone – so here goes! I don’t really know how to dance, so to have the opportunity to learn how to dance is fantastic and to be part of this great team is just super!”

Entrepreneur Norah Casey said: “I’m swapping the boardroom for the dancefloor! I haven’t had the easiest of lives – I lost a lot of years in my twenties and also when Richard was sick. So I feel like this is my mad moment now! I never danced before in my life – so it’s certainly a challenge but I’m sure it’ll be great fun and I’ll have a laugh while I’m doing it.”

Former bodybuilder and fitness model Erin McGregor said: “I’m feeling nervous – I’m bricking it, I’m actually bricking it – it really is nerve wrecking. I took a long maternity leave so it’s great to get back out to the real world and I hope to conquer my fear about what other people think of me. I also love to dance – so this is very exciting!”

Grand Slam winning scrum-half and former Munster rugby player Tomás O’Leary will be hoping to swap rugby silverware for a glitterball trophy: “I’m feeling massively excited but pretty nervous too! It’s daunting as well to consider what’s ahead but hopefully it will be a bit of craic and I will learn to dance, while embracing a new challenge after retiring from professional rugby. I’m sure I’m going to get a slagging too from all the lads, but look, I can’t wait to do it.”

Anna Geary, Cork’s All-Ireland winning camogie captain and former Rose of Tralee will bring her competitive edge to the show. Anna said: “I’m feeling excited, nervous and curious to see if I can actually dance!  While I come from competitive sport, this is a totally different type of competition. I’m completely taking myself out of my comfort zone as I’m swapping my football boots for dancing shoes. We all feel the fear when we try something new, so I just want to grab this opportunity and make the most of it while it lasts. It will be great for my fitness too! I want to show young girls that they can play sport and it won’t hamper them getting involved in other activities, such as dancing, or whatever other interests they have. In fact it could help. I’m looking forward to wearing glitzy dresses, meeting fabulous people and seeing if I can bust a move on the dancefloor. I’m buzzing to get started!”

Newly crowned Athlete of the Year Rob Heffernan is hoping that he will be in for another win: “I’m absolutely terrified but I’m really excited. The reality of the competition is hitting home – it’s scary and a big challenge but I’m looking forward to it. I needed something to take me out of my comfort zone. My wife always wound me up about not being able to dance and wrecking our wedding dance and I’ve been asked to leave the dancefloor on a couple of occasions! So hopefully that will change”

Musician Jake Carter will be hoping to add a new string to his bow: “I’m really excited and am so pleased to be taking part in it. It’s something completely different that I’ve never done before and I’m looking forward to learning something new.  It’s a huge opportunity – who wouldn’t want to learn how to dance?”

Following the departure of model Aoife Walsh from the show, RTÉ confirmed on Friday 22 December that Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model finalist, Alannah Beirne, is to step up to the challenge and will join the line-up of RTÉ One’s hit series Dancing with the Stars.

Having strutted her way to success on Britain’s Next Top Model the Kildare girl-turned-international model is hoping to do the same when she steps off the runway and onto the dancefloor this January.

Speaking about taking part in Dancing with the Stars this year Alannah said: “I’m so thrilled to be joining the DWTS family – Christmas has really come early this year!  I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in now and meeting the rest of the participants.  And I also want to wish Aoife a speedy recovery!.”

Each pairing will have a different dancing genre to master every week from the paso doble to the waltz and they’ll have just seven days to perfect their routine before performing live to the nation.

Also returning this year is our expert panel of judges- including Brian Redmond, Loraine Barry and Julian Benson.  Once again the celebrities and their dancers will be scored by the judges and the viewing public at home.

Don’t miss Dancing with the Stars when it returns for a brand news series on RTÉ One on Sunday, 7th January 2017 at 6.30pm.