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Ball is the oldest person to appear on the show so far, at the age of 74.
The PA’s figures include only those celebrities who have appeared as a contestant in the proper series, and doesn’t count people who took part in one-off specials for Children in Need or at Christmas.
There have also been seven models, six chefs and three politicians – including the surprise hit of last year’s series, Ed Balls.
Just over a third of contestants (35%) have been in their 30s – the biggest proportion for any age group.
The record for the youngest person to make the Strictly final is held jointly by actors Christopher Parker (2004) and Matt Di Angelo (2007).
Both were 20 years old when they finished runners-up in their respective contests.
“It’s ballroom, and that is nothing to do with anything that I do,” Merrygold said.
He added, at the risk of disappointing his fans: “I’m trying not to get twos, so no flips.” In an official statement, the singer said: “I’m so happy to be joining Strictly.