Kilchoan TV wildlife presenter Hamza pulls on dancing shoes for new series of ‘Strictly’

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Residents of Kilchoan and the rest of the Ardnamurchan Peninsula will be glued to their TVs for the launch of the new series of Strictly Come Dancing tomorrow (Friday) night, anxious to see how local wildlife photographer and broadcaster Hamza Yassin fares.

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Hamza was confirmed as the 13th celebrity contestant last month, joining previously announced contestants Will Mellor, Kym Marsh, Richie Anderson, Kaye Adams, Jayde Adams, Ellie Simmonds OBE, Tyler West, Matt Goss, Ellie Taylor, Molly Rainford, Tony Adams MBE, Fleur East, James Bye and Helen Skelton for the 20th season of the hit series.

As well as being a wildlife cameraman, Hamza is one of the presenters of BBC’s Animal Park and a guest presenter on BBC’s Countryfile.

The multi-award-winning entertainment show, produced by BBC Studios, returns to BBC One and BBC iPlayer after its original start date was pushed back last week due to the national mourning following the Queen’s death.

Responding to the invitation to participate, Hamza said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of Strictly 2022. Never in a million years did I think I’d be on a show this cool.

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“I’ve been watching it for years and can’t believe I’ll actually be dancing live to the UK crowd. My dance skills are currently on par with that 1970’s disco vibe, but I’m willing to work hard and every time I get the chance I’ll shake – shake until you can!

Hamza is also known to younger viewers under the guise of Ranger Hamza presenting CBeebie’s live action show Let’s Go For A Walk and Ranger Hamza’s Eco Quest.

He moved to the Scottish Highlands when he was younger to pursue his dream of filming Scottish wildlife and becoming a wildlife cameraman and has lived here ever since.

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In 2020 he fronted the Channel 4 documentaries Scotland: My Life in the Wild and Scotland: Escape to the Wilderness, in which he guided celebrity companions on journeys across western and eastern Scotland and the Highlands.

In his free time, Hamza takes part in the Highland Games and enjoys riding his motorbike around the country lanes.

In an interview with the Daily Record in December 2020, Hamza, now 32, recalled visiting Ardnamurchan for the first time in 2011 after a friend told him about the incredible wildlife.

Moving to the village of Kilchoan was apparently not an easy move as Hamza lived in his car for 11 months and then in holiday homes before finally buying his own flat.

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