Bill Bailey has joined this year's Strictly Come Dancing and reckons: "In these strange times we're living through, it feels right to do something different and take on a new challenge.

"So I am delighted to be a part of this year's unique Strictly Come Dancing."

The 55-year-old comedian and TV star has appeared on shows such as Black Books, Never Mind The Buzzcocks and QI. He might seem a strange choice, but he sees the challenge as something his mother would have approved.

"My late mum Madrin would have loved it," he said. "I hope she'll be watching."

Speaking to Zoe Ball on her Radio 2 Breakfast Show, Bailey said all comics "off stage, we love a bit of an adrenaline rush".

He said his dance history was a "little patchy", adding: I haven't been to stage school and learnt to dance. I haven't lived for the dance... I'm not really Lord of the Dance, I'm caretaker of the dance.

"It's going to be quite a challenge but then that's what this is about, taking on a new skill."

He joked that the Hokey Cokey was one of his favourite dances and that he would be trying to introduce it to Strictly this year.

He is also a classically trained musician and performed with the BBC Concert Orchestra in 2008 in Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide To The Orchestra.

However, he has joked that his dance skills are a "little patchy".

Also part of this year's Strictly line-up are: EastEnders' Maisie Smith, Made in Chelsea's Jamie Laing, television presenter JJ Chalmers, double Olympic gold medallist boxer Nicola Adams, DJ Clara Amfo, Good Morning Britain Political Editor Ranvir Singh, The Wanted singer Max George, former American Football player Jason Bell and Men Behaving Badly star Caroline Quentin.