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Angela Rippon Shatters Strictly Come Dancing Records at 78: Unprecedented Feat

Angela Rippon Shatters Strictly Come Dancing Records at 78: Unprecedented Feat

Angela Rippon, the esteemed journalist, newsreader, and presenter, is set to make history on the 21st series of Strictly Come Dancing as the oldest celebrity participant at the age of 78. Rippon has a special connection to the show, as she previously presented the BBC’s long-running ballroom series, Come Dancing, which inspired the name of Strictly.

Born in Plymouth in 1944, Rippon began her journalism career at the age of 17, working for a local newspaper. She quickly progressed to BBC local radio and landed her first TV role for BBC South West at the age of 21 in 1966. Rippon’s career continued to flourish, and she hosted her first national news program in 1974. After filling in for Richard Baker on BBC One’s Nine O’Clock News, she was offered a permanent newsreading role the following year.

While Rippon is often referred to as the first female TV newsreader, it is more accurate to describe her as the first female journalist to regularly read the news on national TV. Although both ITN and the BBC had featured female newsreaders in the previous two decades, they had not presented regularly on a national level.

Rippon has been open about her experiences of sexism in the industry. In 2019, she revealed that a highly respected male colleague once exposed himself to her while she was reading the news live on air. Despite facing such disrespectful behavior, Rippon persevered and made significant contributions to broadcasting.

In addition to her newsreading career, Rippon has had a passion for dance since her time hosting Come Dancing. She performed a routine on the Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show in 1976 and later became one of the hosts of Come Dancing, which aired from 1949 to 1998. The show featured members of the public and competitive dancers performing ballroom routines. It was relaunched in 2004 as Strictly Come Dancing, combining the tradition of Come Dancing with the energy of Baz Luhrmann’s film, Strictly Ballroom.

Throughout her career, Rippon has covered numerous high-profile events, including the Eurovision Song Contest in 1977, the general election in 1979, and the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles in 1981. She has also hosted various entertainment shows, such as Top Gear and Cash in the Attic, and has written books on health and fitness.

Rippon’s participation in Strictly Come Dancing at the age of 78 is a testament to her enduring passion for dance and her willingness to embrace new challenges. As a true broadcasting legend, she continues to inspire and captivate audiences with her remarkable career and indomitable spirit.

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