Meet AJ Pritchard, Celebrity Masterchef star and Strictly professional dancer

AJ Pritchard has definitely made his mark on Strictly (Picture: Rex Shutterstock)

Strictly Come Dancing might be welcoming 15 new celebs to the floor for its 2018 series – but let’s not forget about those pros.

Among them is AJ Pritchard, who’s returning for his third year in the ballroom after narrowly missing out on last year’s final.

And while he’s set to put another celeb through their paces, he’s also about to be put through a few of his own, as he swaps dancing for cooking in Celebrity MasterChef.

Here’s what you need to know about AJ.

How old is AJ Pritchard and where is he from?

AJ will be hoping to make his mark in the MasterChef kitchen (Picture: BBC)

AJ – the initials stand for Alex Joseph – is 23 years old and is from Stoke-On-Trent.

He made his Strictly Come Dancing debut in 2016, reaching the semi-final with Olympic gymnast Claudia Fragapane, and once again reached the semi-final in 2017 partnering The Saturdays’ Mollie King.

He’s now set to take to the Strictly MasterChef kitchen along with Clara Amfo, Jay Blades, Lisa Maxwell and Stella Parton in the final heat of this year’s competition.

What did he do before Strictly?

AJ previously found fame with his dance partner Chloe Hewitt – who was also on Strictly in 2016 and 2017 but has now left the show – whom he has danced with since the age of 12.

The pair won the National Youth Latin Championships three years in a row, from 2012-2014 before being crowned European Youth Latin Champions in 2015.

They also made their mark on Britain’s Got Talent in 2013 when – performing as AJ and Chloe – they made it all the way to the semi-finals.

Who is he partnering on Strictly?

AJ and Lauren could be ones to watch this year (Picture: BBC)

AJ will take to the floor this year with Paralympic athlete Lauren Steadman

When do Strictly Come Dancing’s live shows kick off?

The first live show of the series is on BBC One on Saturday September 22 at 6.15pm.

When is Celebrity MasterChef?

The series continues on Thursday night on BBC One at 8pm, and on Friday night on BBC One at 8.30pm.

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