Who is AJ Pritchard, Strictly Come Dancing pro?

AJ was one of Strictly 2016’s new professionals and he’s heading back to the dancefloor for 2017. Here’s what you need to know about him.

AJ Pritchard joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 and made it all the way to the semi-final with partner, gymnast Claudia Fragapane.

Here’s what you need to know about AJ.

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Who is AJ Pritchard?

AJ, 21, comes from a dancing family. His parents run a dance school in Cheshire. He started dancing competitively at the age of 12 and it was at his parents’ dance school that he met his professional dance partner – fellow Strictly pro Chloe Hewitt.

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As well as competing at the highest level – winning the National Youth Latin Championships for three years in a row, as well as the British Open Youth Latin Championships and the European Youth Latin Championships – AJ and Chloe also appeared on Britain’s Got Talent. In 2013 they made it through to the semi-finals of the ITV talent show.

“The two shows are completely different in that when I did Britain’s Got Talent it was very much a quick-fire thing,” AJ told What’s On TV.

“We went there, we auditioned, then we did the live show on the night. Whereas with Strictly, it really is like being part of a family.

“We see each other every week – the pros, the celebrities, all the staff – we know each other so well and, every week, we get to know each other even better.”

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Before taking up dancing, AJ focussed on extreme sports, including  snowboarding.

Favourite dance: The Paso Doble is AJ’s favourite Latin dance.

Best-ever finish: AJ reached the semi-finals on his Strictly debut with partner Claudia Fragapane.

Worst-ever finish: Leaving in last year’s semi-finals meant AJ placed fourth.

Former celebrity partners: Claudia Fragapane.

Did you know? AJ stands for Alex Joseph.

2017 celebrity partner: Mollie King

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Photo credit: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

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