Ballerina Darcey Bussell Joins ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ as Judge

on May 02, 2012 11:16 AM EDT

Former Royal Ballet principal dancer Darcey Bussell has been confirmed to join BBC television show "Strictly Come Dancing" as a judge.

Bussell, 42, will replace Alesha Dixon on the judging panel of the British show when it returns in the fall. The show features celebrities with professional dance partners compete in Ballroom and Latin dances.

It won't be her first time to sit on the Strictly panel. The British ballerina appeared on the show in 2009 as a guest judge and performed a jive with the professional dancer Ian Waite as part of the semi-final show, which earned a perfect score of 40 from the judges.

"I had such a lovely experience in 2009 when I was a guest judge, that coming on board now feels very natural," Bussell said.

"Strictly combines quality dance and great entertainment, which is such a positive for everybody involved. I am very excited and really looking forward to being part of the Strictly team," she added.

Danny Cohen, Controller of BBC One, said, "'Strictly Come Dancing' is a jewel in BBC One's crown and I can think of no-one better to join our Strictly judging panel than Darcey, the UK's queen of ballet."

"Darcey has all the poise and glamour, along with the experience and credentials to deliver meaningful and insightful critiques of our couples' performances. She's a huge fan of the show and will be a fantastic addition to the Strictly family," Cohen commented.

Bussell joined the Royal Ballet in 1988 and became widely recognized as one of the greatest English ballerinas. During her career, she performed with leading international ballet companies, including the New York City Ballet. After announcing her retirement as principal dancer at the Royal Ballet, Bussell gave her final performance in 2007.

She currently lives in Sydney with her Australian banker husband and two daughters.

The new show, hosted by 84-year-old Bruce Forsyth, will be on screen from September to December this year.

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