Who is Alexandra Burke? Strictly Come Dancing 2017 star and 2008 X Factor winner dancing with Gorka Marquez

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ALEXANDRA Burke already knows what it’s like to win big on a reality TV series, but this time she’s competing with her feet rather than relying on her voice.

The 2008 X Factor winner is part of the Strictly Come Dancing 2017 lineup. But what else do we know about her?

 Alexandra Burke is one of the winners of The X Factor

Alexandra Burke is one of the winners of The X Factor

Who is Alexandra Burke, how old is she and what is her background?

Alexandra Burke is a 28-year-old singer and actress, who shot to fame after winning The X Factor in 2008.

The pop star was born in Islington, London, and her mother was Melissa Bell, one member of the 90s R’n’B band Soul II Soul.

Sadly, Alexandra announced her mum had died aged 53, just hours after she made her Strictly debut at the official launch.

One of four children, Alexandra began dance classes from a young age and sang from five, before entering TV talent show Star For A Night at the age of 12 coming runner-up to a young Joss Stone.

After her GCSEs Alexandra left school to pursue a music industry career and started gigging and touring with the charity band Young Voices.

She auditioned for the 2005 series of The X Factor, which was won by Shayne Ward, but was ultimately deemed too young to get through to the live shows.

She went away for three years before returning for the fifth series in 2008 and wowing with her soulful voice.

 Beyonce joined Alexandra to sing her track Listen on The X Factor

Beyonce joined Alexandra to sing her track Listen on The X Factor

After being mentored by Cheryl Cole she eventually won the show, beating boy band JLS.

Memorably, she performed with her idol Beyonce in the final, which no doubt helped her case with voters.

What has Alexandra done since X Factor?

After releasing hit singles Bad Boys, Broken Heels and Start Without You from her two albums, as well as acting as model and ambassador for huge brands, Alexandra’s fame peaked.

She quickly changed tack by taking acting classes, and after leaving her label in 2013, she turned her attention fully to stage performing.

The singer took huge roles in The Bodyguard and, last year, Sister Act The Musical.

 Alexandra has bagged several West End roles including the lead in The Bodyguard

Dan Wooller/REX
Alexandra has bagged several West End roles including the lead in The Bodyguard

Is Alexandra single?

In 2012, Alexandra dated footie star Jermaine Defoe for a few months before she found out he’d cheated on her with a model Laura Brown.

She then went out with another footballer, goalie Dominique Jean-Zephirin, for a year.

Since then Alexandra has not had any high profile romances, but in 2015 she had a very public dalliance with a man called Louis on Channel 4’s First Dates.

The star took part in the Stand Up To Cancer charity edition of the show and then went on a second date with Louis, but nothing more seems to have come of it.

She is currently in a relationship with Josh Ginnelly.

During the early stages of Strictly Come Dancing her dance partner Gorka Marquez was romantically linked to fellow contestant Gemma Atkinson.

 Alexandra took part in a charity edition of First Dates

Alexandra took part in a charity edition of First Dates

When is Strictly Come Dancing 2017 on and who are the judges?

Strictly Come Dancing launched on September 9 on BBC One, with the live shows kicking off on September 23.

Strictly always airs on BBC One in two parts. The main show is on Saturday normally around 7pm and the results show airs on Sunday at a similar time.

There will be a Christmas special again in 2017, with the celebrity participants expected to be announced in early November.

This year sees a new judging lineup after head judge Len Goodman retired.

He will be replaced by Shirley Ballas who joins returning judges Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel-Horwood on the panel.

There will be three new professional dancers joining the existing pros; Dianne Buswell, Amy Dowden and Nadiya Bychkova.

Alexandra Burke sings Hallelujah in the 2008 X Factor final

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