She came to be a national treasure as the youngest athlete at the Beijing Paralympics aged just 13, winning gold in the 100m and 400m freestyle swimming events, and now it seems the bosses behind supremely popular BBC dance-a-thon Strictly Come Dancing have made securing the services of Ellie Simmonds their number one priority for next season.
Now 22 – and with five gold medals to her name, no less – Ellie has been spotted attending the latest shows, with one source telling The Mirror that the producers “wanted to introduce her to the Strictly family and for her to get a feel of the place and the programme."
“By all accounts she had a fabulous time,” the insider added. “It’s early days, but we would love her next year. She is our number one choice by a country mile.”
Ellie, who has achondroplasia and is just 4ft 1in tall, has already confessed to Zoe Ball on the Strictly spin-off show It Takes Two that she “loved” the ballroom contest. A spot in next year’s line-up would therefore be a dream come true for the swimming superstar, as well as an important step in the right direction in terms of diversity and equality on the box.
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