Karim Zeroual has been named as the favourite to win Strictly Come Dancing ahead of the first show.

The CBBC actor, partnered with Amy Dowden, rose to fame starring in The Sparticle Mystery.

Strictly Come Dancing 2019
Karim Zeroual with his dance partner Amy Dowden (Ray Burmiston/BBC)

He has been named as the bookies’ tip to claim the glitterball trophy in the 2019 series of Strictly.

EastEnders star Emma Barton has been named second, and former Arsenal footballer Alex Scott is third.

Former England goalkeeper David James, working with Nadiya Bychkova, has been tipped to exit the BBC One dance competition first.

Harry Aitkenhead, of Coral, said: “For Strictly fans, the wait is over and the race for the glitterball trophy is up and running.

“We think Karim is going to be the one to beat this year and he is our favourite to win the 2019 series.

“Emma, Alex and Kelvin (Fletcher) have all been popular bets from punters in the run-up to the first dances and they could also be set for a long winter on the dancefloor.”

The bookies fancy Zeroual to be followed by a tight field of potential winners, but have given significantly longer odds on some of the more veteran contestants.

– Here are the odds on Strictly contestants winning this year:

7-2 Karim Zeroual

4-1 Emma Barton

5-1 Alex Scott

6-1 Kelvin Fletcher

8-1 Catherine Tyldesley

10-1 Saffron Barker

16-1 Dev Griffin

16-1 Chris Ramsey

16-1 Emma Weymouth

16-1 Will Bayley

50-1 James Cracknell

50-1 Anneka Rice

50-1 Mike Bushell

50-1 Michelle Visage

66-1 David James