Krishnan Guru-Murthy says Strictly will not mean he is less serious with interviewees

Channel 4 News broadcaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy has said “good luck” to any guests thinking of taking him “less seriously” for competing on Strictly Come Dancing.

The presenter will compete against 14 other celebrity contestants, including former Family Fortunes presenter Les Dennis, broadcaster Angela Rippon and actor Amanda Abbington, on the new series of the BBC One dance show.

Best known for his current affairs programmes, including on the BBC through Newsround and Newsnight among others, the 53-year-old journalist was asked by The Observer whether he is concerned about audiences taking him less seriously.

Guru-Murthy told the newspaper: “I’ve no idea how I’ll do, but I think the audience knows me well.

“They’ve grown up with me and know what I’m about. As for guests? Having something soft to break the adversarial ice might be helpful.

"I’ll carry on doing what I do. It would be very funny, I think, if anyone dared take me less seriously going into an interview because I’m doing Strictly. Good luck with that. See how you get on, is what I’d say to them.”

Over the course of his career, Guru-Murthy has covered news events including the Omagh bombing of 1998 and the 9/11 and 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Guru-Murthy revealed that all the Strictly competitors met their professional dance partners a few weeks ago. The pairings will be revealed on launch night.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy (BBC)
Krishnan Guru-Murthy (BBC)

Also in the Strictly line-up is ex-tennis player Annabel Croft, actor Nigel Harman, EastEnders starBobby Brazier, Paralympian Jody Cundy and former Coronation Street star Ellie Leach.

Radio host Nikita Kanda, Waterloo Road actor Adam Thomas, Love Island star Zara McDermott, Irish TV presenter Angela Scanlon, Bad Education’s Layton Williams and comedian Eddie Kadi will also take to the dance floor.

In a new interview this weekend, last year’s winner, the wildlife presenter Hamza Yassin, talked about how Strictly has impacted his confidence and revealed he has had some “pretty forward fan mail” sent his way.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later this month. Meet all the contestants here.

Additional reporting by Press Association