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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

JLS star Aston on the road to Strictly glory

X Factor rivals top the betting

Paralympics star Jonnie Peacock
1 of 1

BBC One, 6.25pm Saturday

There's an automatic rivalry in the field for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing and bookmakers have made the celebrities at the centre of it first and second favourites.

Singer Aston Merrygold was runner-up with boyband JLS in the 2008 series of The X Factor, when the winner was Alexandra Burke. The pair have both signed up for the latest run of the BBC's ratings-topper and Merrygold should be able to get his own back.

It can't be a negative that his Wikipedia page already describes the so-called novice as a 'singer-songwriter, dancer and television personality' before he has taken his first step in anger in the competition and he was a judge on dancing show Got To Dance in 2013. The suspicion is he already knows his paso doble from his rumba.

He's a 7-2 shot with Burke, who has extensive experience of learning steps for dance routines, 9-2 and the pair look the obvious frontrunners.

Paralaympics gold medallist Jonnie Peacock should be popular with voters and is as short as 7-1 (best at 10-1) but a large portion of the field - namely Ruth Langsford, Richard Coles, Simon Rimmer, Brian Conley and Susan Calman don't look serious contenders.

A Merrygold to win the Glitterball trophy
2pts 7-2 Betfred

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The suspicion is he already knows his paso doble from his rumba
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