BILLINGE heart-throb Ricky Whittle is set to waltz his way onto hit television show Strictly Come Dancing.

The 27-year-old actor – who is in a long-term relationship with St Helens’ Hollyoaks co-star Carley Stenson - was named as one of the 16 contestants for this year’s series.

He will partner professional dancer Natalie Lowe – herself a newcomer to the show.

Ricky will be going up against the likes of boxing great Joe Calzaghe, athlete Jade Johnson, ex-Footballers Wives actress Zoe Lucker and former jockey Richard Dunwoody.

But Oldham-born Ricky is prepared to do what it takes to win votes.

He told the BBC: "I love all the sexy Latin stuff; the salsa, the rumba. I get flustered in suits, so if I'm in something else it would be better.

“To be honest if it gets me through to the final I'll dance in my thong!"