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Strictly star Carlos Gu to read on CBeebies bedtime story for Lunar New Year special

Strictly Come Dancing star Carlos Gu will appear on CBeebies Bedtime Stories to read a book for families across the UK in celebration of the Lunar New Year.

The 31-year-old dancer will read from “I Love Chinese New Year”, written by Eva Wong Nava and illustrated by Li Xin, which introduces children to the celebration and traditions often practised by families at this time.

Gu said he is thrilled to be on the “iconic CBeebies Bedtime Story chair this Lunar New Year, sharing the magic of storytelling with families.”

He added: “I hope this lovely story about the wonderful traditions and values of Chinese culture brings joy and warmth to all those who tune in.”

The book follows Mai-Anne in a story about how Chinese New Year began as she learns about 12 animals and their special powers.

Carlos Gu will read ‘I Love Chinese New Year’ (BBC/PA Wire)
Carlos Gu will read ‘I Love Chinese New Year’ (BBC/PA Wire)

Her family starts decorating the house when her grandmother Nai Nai arrives and they begin festivities with a traditional meal comprised of fish for good luck, noodles for a long life, dumplings for blessings and a whole cooked chicken.

The Lunar New Year is the most important annual holiday in China and each year is named after one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac, with this year being the year of the dragon.

The year of the dragon (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
The year of the dragon (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Individuals born in this year, according to the Chinese zodiac, are believed to possess certain characteristics and traits associated with the dragon - such as ambition, confidence and charisma.

Chinese national champion Gu first joined Strictly in 2022 and was partnered with Irish TV presenter Angela Scanlon on the latest series of the BBC One dancing show.

Other celebrities to have read stories on CBeebies Bedtime Stories include Tom Hardy, Dolly Parton, Harry Styles, Kate Winslet and the Princess of Wales.

The children’s TV programme is on each weekday at 6.50pm on CBeebies and BBC iPlayer and Gu’s story will air on Friday 9 February.