Strictly stars in WhatsApp group with ‘no egos or divas’, reveals Zara McDermott’s mum

This year's Strictly Come Dancing celebrities are in a WhatsApp chat together, revealed Zara McDermott's mum.

Zara, who first found fame on Love Island, has put her dancing shoes on as she will be taking part in the 21st series of BBC competition.

The 26-year-old, who is now a presenter and documentary maker, has been paired with Graziano Di Prima and will do the cha cha to Crush by Jennifer Paige on the first live show tonight (Saturday, September 23).

Other celebrities in the mix for the Glitterball Trophy this year include actress Amanda Abbington, broadcaster Angela Rippon, former Family Fortunes host Les Dennis and EastEnders star Bobby Brazier.

Speaking exclusively with OK!, Zara's mum Karen McDermott said that so far there are no "egos or divas" on the ballroom floor and they're all supporting each other in a WhatsApp group.

When asked who her daughter's biggest competition is, Karen said: "This is the thing, I don’t know. We went to the launch show a couple of weeks ago and everyone just had each other's backs.

"They were all lovely and it was such a lovely atmosphere. There were no egos, divas, anything like that, everyone just got on and were looking out for each other and I think that is continuing.

"They’ve got their own WhatsApp group chat and they’re just really rooting for each other, so, I think they all want each other to do well. Especially this early on, it’s really hard to call it."

Karen added that Zara, who is dating Sam Thompson, is "nervous and excited" to start the live shows but that all the fellow celebrities, professionals and staff have been "welcoming and so lovely."

She added: "The feeling of the production was really great, it really felt like a family, so I think Zara and all of them are so lucky to be working on that show and to be looked after that way."

Ahead of the first live show tonight, Karen, who will be in the audience with Graziano's wife Giada Lini, said she spoke to a "nervous" Zara before she set off to the studio.

They discussed how being on the show has been a "pinch me" moment, as Karen said: "Speaking to Zara this morning she was nervous and excited.

"You can imagine all of them, they probably all run through their routines a thousand times so by now it should be in their heads and they should know exactly what they’re doing.

"But I think she’s nervous and excited , I think it’s also a bit of a pinch me moment for her.

"She was saying last night my goodness, whoever would have thought that my name would be there. I can’t believe it. She’s incredibly grateful and she is not taking any of it for granted."

Strictly Come Dancing will go live on Saturday from 6.15pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
Strictly It Takes Two will return to BBC Two from 6.30pm on September 25, with presenters and singers Janette Manrara and Fleur East.

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