PARALYMPIC table tennis pro, Will Bayley MBE, is starring in the current series of Strictly Come Dancing 2019.
The world number one sportsman has so far been light on his feet thanks to his athletic background. Here’s what we know about the talented table tennis star…
Why is Will Bayley famous?
Will represented Team GB at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, China, and failed to bring home a medal.
However he walked away with gold medals at both the German and Czech table tennis opens in 2009, as well as in Lignano and Brazil in 2010.
Will won a silver medal for Great Britain at the London 2012 Summer Paralympics and bagged his first gold medal at the Rio 2016 Summer Paralympics.
After Rio the gold medallist’s picture was nicked and used on a Tinder user’s profile.
In 2017, he was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (BE) for services to table tennis.
Will also serves as an ambassador for Kent Sports Trust Foundation, Pepenbury and Disability Sports Coaching.
He was a Commonwealth Games ambassador for the Gold Coast Games in Australia 2018.
The table tennis player starred on an episode of Channel 4 show, First Dates, in 2016.
Months later Will went on to meet his partner Fiona York and the pair share daughter Bella.
How much is Will Bayley being paid to do Strictly 2019?
The sportsman could pocket a pretty penny taking part in Strictly Come Dancing, as each celebrity is given a standard £25,000 payment.
In 2018, The Sun revealed how contestants were given a quarter of a million when they signed up for the BBC One series.
If they make it to the semi-finals the figure climbs to £75,000 and the Strictly winner is paid a whopping £100,000.
What has Will Bayley said about Strictly 2019?
Speaking about taking part, Will said: “I’m so proud to be on the show, it’s my family’s favourite show. I have no dance experience at all, but I hope I can do well.
“I want to inspire people with a disability – that would mean a lot to me. I want to prove to people I can do this.”
He added: “It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be a real challenge. My balance is affected.”
It is believed he has been paired with professional dancer Katya Jones after she was reinstated in the main line-up.
Who is Will Bayley’s Strictly 2019 partner?
Will has been paired with Janette Manrara, who is married to co-star Aljaž Škorjanec.
But before the sportsman was partnered with the professional dancer he admitted to being a huge fan of judge Bruno Tonioli.
The lucky sport star shared a hug with the long-time judge before walking off with his dance partner.
What is Will Bayley’s background?
The 31-year-old was born on January 17, 1988, with arthrogryposis which affects all four of his limbs.
Arthrogryposis is the term for conditions that cause multiple curved joints in areas of the body at birth.
It usually results in stiff joints and muscle weakness, and it is not seen as a genetic condition.
He learnt to play table tennis after he was diagnosed with cancer at the age of seven and his grandma bought him a table.
At the age of 12, he joined a table tennis club and went on to represent Kent’s able bodied men’s team.
He then lived and trained full time at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield at the age of 17.
When is Strictly Come Dancing 2019 on?
The official start date for the live Strictly Come Dancing shows began on Saturday, September 21, with the final coming on Saturday, December 14.
The show will air on BBC One and is shown on this channel every Saturday and Sunday until mid-December.
All episodes will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer after airing.