Alesha Dixon won Strictly Come Dancing in 2007

Retired Ballerina Darcey Bussell is to take over from Alesha Dixon as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing.

The 42-year-old, a former principal dancer at the Royal Ballet, is no stranger to the show - she made a guest appearance on the panel 3 years ago. 

'I had such a lovely experience in 2009 when I was a guest judge, that coming on board now feels very natural,' says Darcey.

'Strictly combines quality dance and great entertainment, which is such a positive for everybody involved.

'I am very excited and really looking forward to being part of the Strictly team.'

Mum-of-2 Darcey is replacing Alesha, 33, who left the programme to join Britain's Got Talent at the beginning of this year.

She'll join Len Goodman, 68, Craig Revel Horwood, 47, and Bruno Tonioli, 56, when the show returns in the autumn.

'Strictly Come Dancing is a jewel in BBC One's crown and I can think of no-one better to join our Strictly judging panel than Darcey, the UK's queen of ballet,' says Danny Cohen, controller at BBC One.

'Darcey has all the poise and glamour, along with the experience and credentials to deliver meaningful and insightful critiques of our couples' performances.

'She's a huge fan of the show and will be a fantastic addition to the Strictly family.'

SEE PICTURES Strictly Come Dancing 2011 - the contestants>>

NEW PICTURES Strictly Come Dancing Stars arrive at rehearsals>>

NEW PICTURES Strictly Come Dancing 2011 - contestants' dance partners for new series revealed>>

SEE PICTURES Strictly Come Dancing 2010 contestants revealed>>



SEE PICTURES Strictly Come Dancing star Kara Tointon Style File>>

SEE PICTURES Carmen Electra stands in for new mum Amanda Holden at Britain's Got Talent London auditions>>

SEE PICTURES Britain's Got Talent judges meet for Manchester auditions>>

SEE PICTURES  Britain's Got Talent 2011: The finalists>>

SEE
PICTURES Britain's Got Talent - best moments>>

Esme Riley