THERE will be a familiar face in the line-up of dance professionals as family favourite Strictly Come Dancing returns to our screens this weekend.

Kai Widdrington, who joins the quest for the glitterball trophy from the Irish version of Dancing With The Stars, grew up in Southampton.

He’s the son of former Saints star Tommy, a tough, no nonsense midfielder who spent six years with the club in the 90s, making nearly 100 appearances.

Kai, a former Bassett resident who attended Barton Peveril College in Eastleigh, has a brother Theo who plays for Havant & Waterlooville and was himself a talented footballer, but decided his future lay in dancing.

He was inspired by watching the original Strictly with mum Candice and the rest of the family as a child.

Kai said: “I used to watch the show when I was a little boy, they (his parents) introduced me to it and that’s kind of what got me into dancing in the first place.

“So they’re huge fans of the show, they watch every season, so they’re over the moon that I’m going to be joining the professional lineup.”

The 25-year-old has appeared on Britain’s Got Talent twice - once in 2012 with dance partner Natalia Jeved, then again in 2014 with Latin dance group Kings And Queens.

He appeared in some of the professional group dances in last year’s Strictly, but it’s the first time he will be competing with a celebrity for the coveted trophy.

In a shot released this week by the BBC, all the professionals pose on a stage in the middle of the the ballroom, dressed in sparky metallic sequins and tassels and surrounded by gold and silver balls. Kai is stood on the far right.

Strictly Come Dancing will begin on Saturday night on BBC One where Kai will learn who he has been partnered with.

The upcoming series will see stars including comedian Robert Webb and Olympic champion swimmer Adam Peaty work on their dancing skills.

Also competing will be Dragons' Den investor Sara Davies, McFly star Tom Fletcher, BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker and Tilly Ramsay, daughter of chef Gordon.

The series will also see the first ever deaf contestant and first ever all-male pairing.