May 22 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Footballer Fabrice Muamba makes his appearance for Strictly Come Dancing - just months after retiring after suffering a near fatal cardiac arrest.
The former Bolton Wanderers midfielder, who suffered a heart attack during an FA Cup tie at Tottenham Hotspur’s White Hart Lane, shows off his salsa skills with professional partner Aliona Vilani for the Christmas edition of the BBC1 show.
He joins figures such as JLS star JB Gill - who found fame on rival show The X Factor - and comedian Bobby Ball in the one-off festive show.
Muamba, 24, looks delighted to be on the dancefloor as he is seen with Vilani performing to The Waitresses’ track Christmas Wrapping.
He had told of his desire to be on the show weeks before he was linked to the show - and in particular his love of the latin dance.
In a recent interview he revealed he turned down ITV’s Dancing On Ice, and added: “I’d do Strictly Come Dancing. I love my salsa, so I’d be well up for that.”
Fans - and the world of football - were left horrified earlier this year when the player collapsed in front of 35,000 people.
The Zaire-born player, who recently tied the knot with Shauna Magunda, was technically dead for 78 minutes but was brought back after repeated shocks from a defibrillator, which made his heart beat again.
Other new faces to appear on the Christmas show include Katy Brand, Sheila Hancock and Helen Skelton. Chart star Gill is seen performing a colossal leap high above his partner Ola Jordan during the show.
The programme will also see a number of past contestants returning including Natasha Kaplinsky, Chelsee Healey, Chris Hollins and Rachel Stevens.
Judge Craig Revel Horwood will also be showing his lighter side as he dresses up as Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer during the 75-minute show.
The programme will be screened on Christmas Day from 6.15pm.