Susanna Reid accuses the BBC of ‘snobbery’ for never recruiting a Love Island star for Strictly Come Dancing – after it was revealed Zara McDermott is set to appear on the show
Susanna Reid has slammed Strictly Come Dancing for their casting choices – a decade after she appeared on the BBC show.
The GMB host, 52, and her pro dance partner Kevin Clifton finished second behind winners Abbey Clancy and Aljaž Škorjanec during the 2013 grand final.
And now, Susanna has called the show ‘snobby’ for not recruiting someone from Love Island before.
It comes after MailOnline exclusively revealed Zara McDermott will become the first ever Love Island contestant to appear on Strictly.
While presenting Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, Susanna was discussing the news with co-host Ed Balls when she said: ‘It is a bit of a snobby ban isn’t it? Not allowing Love Islanders on.’
‘It is snobby’: Susanna Reid has slammed Strictly Come Dancing for their casting choices a decade after she appeared on the BBC show
Making history: It comes after MailOnline revealed Zara McDermott will be the first ever Love Island contestant to appear on Strictly
Documentary-maker Zara, who is one of the BBC’s rising stars, is to sign up in the coming days after holding talks with the dance show’s producers for some weeks.
Bosses believe having Zara, 26, on the programme will attract more younger people to watch and give her the opportunity to further her career with the broadcaster.
It is unlikely that she will fall victim to the infamous Strictly curse because she is dating Made In Chelsea star Sam Thompson, 30, whom she has starred alongside on the E4 show.
The influencer has a large social media following after rising to fame on Love Island in 2018 and competing on The X Factor: Celebrity the following year, performing for Simon Cowell on the ITV series.
Zara’s audience has since grown, with the star amassing over 1.7million followers, as she continues to team up with boyfriend and TV presenter Sam on TikTok and Instagram videos, which often feature the pair showcasing their dance moves.
A Strictly insider told MailOnline: ‘Zara is the perfect signing for Strictly: not only is she beautiful and glamorous, but she is hardworking and will take being on the show very seriously.
‘She’s absolutely loved the experience of documentary making and is over the moon to further her relationship with the BBC by signing up to Strictly.
‘It is a dream come true for her and becoming the first former Love Island star to do so is the icing on the cake.’
Throwback: The GMB host, 52, and her pro dance partner Kevin Clifton finished second behind winners Abbey Clancy and Aljaž Škorjanec during the 2013 grand final
Strictly snobby: While presenting Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, Susanna was discussing the news with co-host Ed Balls
Talent: Zara has fronted several documentaries for BBC Three including about her experience of revenge porn and the rise of eating disorders among teens
Up until now, the BBC has not recruited anyone who has found fame on Love Island to compete for the glitterball trophy, but they believe due to her focus on documentary-making that Zara fits the bill.
She has fronted several documentaries for BBC Three including about her experience of revenge porn and the rise of eating disorders among teens, which are topics that resonate with her young fanbase.
Sam and Zara, who have been together since 2019, will hope to defy the infamous Strictly curse, which has ended the relationships of several former contestants.
The couple had their problems during the early stages of their romance, when Zara admitted to cheating on Sam in 2019 with music boss Brahim Fouradi during her time on X Factor: Celebrity.
Their dramatic breakup was filmed for Made In Chelsea, where Zara was captured begging for Sam’s forgiveness.
But since getting back together, they are stronger than ever and entertain their social media followers with amusing videos.
Prior to finding fame on Love Island, where she met ex-boyfriend Adam Collard, Zara worked as a policy adviser for the Department for Education.
Couple: It is unlikely that she will fall victim to the infamous Strictly curse because she is dating Made In Chelsea star Sam Thompson, whom she has starred alongside on the E4 show
She has since gone on to present her own BBC Three documentaries, which also include Uncovering Rape Culture, as well as hosting dating show Love in the Flesh.
Zara joins TV presenter Angela Scanlon, who hosts BBC Two’s Your Home Made Perfect, and former EastEnders actor Nigel Harman on the lineup this year.
Loose Women star Sophie Morgan has also reportedly signed up, becoming the show’s first ever wheelchair-using contestant.
Last year’s competition saw wildlife cameraman Hamza Yassin win the show alongside professional dancer Jowita Przystal.
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