Strictly’s Rhys Stephenson’s life – children’s TV fame to James Bond connection

Rhys Stephenson, 28, is a well-known presenter, actor and host on kid's TV channel CBBC and has been on classic shows such as Blue Peter and Newsround.

Currently starring on Strictly Come Dancing with first time pro-trainer on the show, Nancy Xu, Rhys was awarded tens across the board for his Charleston last week.

For this Saturday's much anticipated Musicals Week, Rhys will be dancing the Jive to Footloose's iconic eponymous number.

Stephen has proved himself to be an excellent dancer after getting Motsi Mabuse's earliest ever ten in week three and he hasn't earned a score less than 30 since week one.

Daily Star looks at Rhys' life off the dancefloor and away from the glitz and glam of Strictly's ballroom.

Rhys, from South London, started presenting on CBBC in 2016 and has moved between Blue Peter, Saturday Mash-Up! and Newsround.

James also hosts the TV channel alongside, though he is usually accompanied by puppet dog and CBBC legend Hacker.

Rhys' fun and charismatic personality has seen him excel in children's TV and he has openly stated he hopes to be able to show a more 'serious' side to his personality.

Outside of his presenting work, Rhys is an ambassador for Place2Be – a charity providing mental health services to schools across the country.

Rhys has also been open about his devout Christian faith and admitted that he prays before each dance.

Rhys wrote for the Evangelical Alliance: "I grew up in a Christian household with a powerful, God-fearing woman, so Halloween was never on the table.

"In fact, I don’t remember ever questioning why Halloween wasn’t allowed – I just assumed it wasn’t our thing.

"I guess the only negative thing for me about not taking part (apart from the interminable, yet friendly, visitors constantly reminding you of a holiday that you’ve been taught to ignore) was that there was no alternative for Christian kids like me, until one year when my mum and the other parents at our church decided to get all the kids together for a Hallows Eve party."

It would be remiss to mention Rhys' life off camera without mentioning his close friendship with Strictly alumnus and fellow CBBC co-star Karim Zaeroual who also succeeded on the show – there must be something in the water at CBBC.

Back in 2019 Karim made it all the way to the final and also scored a perfect 40 and Rhys seems to be following in his footsteps so far.

In 2013, Rhys joined his University's TV channel and joined the National Youth Theatre – performing alongside household names such as Matt Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes.

But he also has a key connection to the iconic James Bond franchise.

Rhys attended the University of Westminster – the same university Neal Purvis attended.

Neal was the scriptwriter for later Bond flicks including Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Spectre, all starring Daniel Craig as the eponymous super spy.

Though he may not have entered the competition as well known as some of his Strictly 2021 cast mates – he now boasts over 23.4K followers on Instagram and has become a fan favourite for the win.

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Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday at 6.35pm, with the results show on Sunday, November 21 at 7.15pm on BBC One.

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