Chris McCausland

Chris McCausland

Chris McCausland 'signed up for Strictly'

Comedian would be the show's first blind contestant

Chris McCausland is set to become the first blind contestant on Strictly Come Dancing this year, it has been reported.

The Sun on Sunday were confident enough about the news to splash it on the front page of today’s edition.

The comedian is the first contestant to be named in conjunction with this year's 22nd series, two years after actress Rose Ayling-Ellis – the show's first deaf contestant –  won in 2021.

McCausland’s star has been on the rise in recent years and on Friday made his sixth appearance on Have I Got News For You – where he joked about  Michael Gove entering I’m A Celebrity after quitting Parliament.

His other TV credits include 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Would I Lie to You? and his own travelogue series, The Wonders of the World I Can't See. And last year he was a contestant in the Channel 4 reality television series Scared Of The Dark.

The Sun quotes an unnamed source saying that Strictly bosses ‘think Chris will be great on the show. He has a hilarious sense of humour and an infectious personality.

Sun front page saying Blind Star For Strictly

‘Producers are really keen to showcase disability on TV and are conscious of how important it is. Chris has spoken openly of his sight issues and is determined to show it won’t hold him back on the ballroom dance floor.’

The 46-year-old has previously spoken of how he experiences the world, saying: ‘I’m blind but I don’t see black. I still see light and space, I still have an awareness of the space around me, not in terms of objects and things, but in terms of the room and whether there might be something in front of me.’

The Liverpudlian – a married father of one – gradually lost his sight due to the hereditary condition retinitis pigmentosa, becoming fully blind at 22.

McCausland – who also devised his own Radio 4 series You Heard It Here First – has also welcomed disabled stars breaking through to the mainstream, without being tokenistic.

He said: ‘It’s great that there’s people coming through who are able to represent disability while also having the experience to do the job properly. There’s no point fast-tracking performers on to TV before they’re ready.

‘My attitude has always been to represent by not banging you over the head. I think the best way to represent a disability is to make people forget about it whenever possible. It’s always part of you.

‘People are interested, you let them in and laugh about it. But if you can do a show where, say, 80 per cent of it isn’t about being blind, that makes it more impactful and funnier when you do talk about it. I believe in representation within the mainstream. Integration rather than segregation.

‘Don’t have a sketch show with five disabled comedians. Take those five disabled comedians and put them in five different shows. That’s the more powerful way.'

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Published: 2 Jun 2024

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