COMEDIAN Bill Bailey has a very special reason for doing this year's Strictly Come Dancing – his late mum loved the show.
Bill, 55, finally decided to do sign up after his live show commitments dried up thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
But having more time on his hands was not the only reason motivating the comedian to take part in the BBC dance competition.
“In these are strange times we're living through, it feels right to do something different and take on a new challenge," he explained.
It turns out his late mum, Madryn, loved watching Strictly.
Bill said: "I am delighted to be a part of this year's unique Strictly Come Dancing. My late mum Madryn would have loved it – I hope she'll be watching.”
Madryn died in 2005 after a battle with bowel cancer and Strictly is not the first time Bill has honoured his mum in a big way.
Since her death he has worked hard to raise awareness of the illness, but also to raise funds for research.
The comedian has participated in multiple 100-mile walks to raise money for the Stand Up To Cancer charity.
“When I lost my mum it affected me quite deeply and made me think of how to make the best use of the fame I have,” he told The Express in 2017.
“It’s a good way of getting people to talk about the subject and engage with it so I’ve got involved in various campaigns over the years.”
Known for his work on Black Book and QI, Bill has become a household name and will be a sure crowd favourite on the show.
He's joining Caroline Quentin, Jason Bell, Max George, Ranvir Singh, Clara Amfo, Jacqui Smith, Jamie Lang, Ranvir Singh, JJ Chalmers, Maisie Smith and Nicola Adams on the new series.
The only unknown in this year’s line-up so far, but expected to be a female YouTube personality due to an uneven split of men and women in 2020.
This year there are fewer celebrities signed up for the BBC1 juggernaut, due to a shorter run of just nine shows as opposed to 12.
Bill was signed up for the show alongside actress Caroline, 60, and were two of the show’s top targets for the delayed 2020 series, which will start in October rather than September.
A source said: “The BBC are delighted with the double signing. Caroline is looking forward to the challenge and wants to get properly stuck in.
“And it’s a hard time for live performers so it seemed a good chance for Bill to commit to the show.”
This year’s series has been heavily delayed owing to Covid-19.
The Sun revealed that it will start on October 24, finishing just days before Christmas.
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