Olympic hero and Strictly Come Dancing champion Louis Smith has danced his way through the 50s and the 60s – and now he’s back to boogie through the 70s.

The gymnast appears in Rip It Up The 70s in Carlisle next week, alongside pop stars Rachel Stevens and Melody Thornton.

Louis said: “Every night during the Rip It Up tours I tell people these shows are the hardest thing I have ever done – even harder than competing at the Olympics and Strictly.

“I’m not sure everyone believes me, but I’m telling the truth. But I love dancing and relish a challenge, so I am so happy to be part of the new Rip It Up The 70s show.

Former S Club 7 star Rachel narrowly missed out lifting the Glitterball Trophy during the 8th series of Strictly with Vincent Simone, finishing as runners-up in the final.

She said: “I am so excited to be joining the cast. Dancing has played such an important role in my life.

“Strictly was one of the best experiences of my life, so I’m really looking forward to being involved in such an amazing production. And what’s not to love about the music and fashion of the ’70s? It’s going to so much fun.”

Also making her Rip It Up debut is former Pussycat Doll Melody who has appeared in E4’s Celebs Go Dating, Celebrity Juice, In Bed With Jamie and Celebrity Island With Bear Grylls.

She landed the lead role in the stage version of The Bodyguard and came third in the last series of Dancing on Ice.

And Lee Ryan, who first made his name as a member of the multi-platinum-selling British boy band Blue, is also appearing. He said: “I love the music. My mum was a big fan, so I grew up with The Supremes, Gladys Knight & The Pips, all of that.

“I’m going to be doing a medley of Queen’s hits. I absolutely adore Freddie Mercury. And then I’ve also got Stevie Wonder’s Superstition.”

n Rip It Up The 70s, The Sands Centre, Carlisle, October 10. For tickets, call 01228 633766 or go to www.thesandscentre.co.uk