Our 15 eager-eyed celebrities are poised to take to the dancefloor for the very first time this Sunday – they are probably preparing for their fake tans as I type – but who are the frontrunners? Which celebrities will surprise us with their flirty foxtrot and graceful Viennese waltz? And who is already headed for the final…?
It’s time to make some predictions…
Judy – mum of Wimbledon champ Andy – is one lady who knows a lot about hard work and determination. Not only was she a very good tennis player herself in her youth, winning 64 titles, she’s coached multiple players at regional and national level. She’s used to pressure and she knows what it takes to succeed – rumour has it she’s already changed her diet to maximise performance, and I know for a fact that she’s already practising REALLY hard.
Plus, I’m not saying she’d take being voted out in the early stages badly, I just can’t imagine any of the Murrays taking on something that they don’t intend to win.
Sure, Scott Mills spends most of his days sat in a swivelly chair. We imagine life as a Radio 1 DJ is about as active as life as a Radio Times journalist (sitting down is comfy, okay?). But I reckon during his time on the radio he’s secretly been picking up some tips. Listening to music all day long, you are sure to have a confident feel for timing and rhythm. There’s a strong chance Mills is tapping his foot under that desk.
Plus he’s unlikely to be phased by the live element of the show – something which will daunt a lot of the contestants – and he doesn’t take himself too seriously. A Strictly must.
Former Big Brother star turned This Morning presenter Alison Hammond is enthusiastic and energetic by nature. From interviewing countless A-listers (and getting snogs from most of them) to slumming it in the jungle, she’s definitely not afraid to make a fool of herself or get out of her comfort zone.
We all know there’s nothing worse than watching an awkward celebrity try – and fail – to smile their way through a samba. But there’s no chance this gal will forget to grin once the show is being broadcast live to the nation. And even if she makes mistakes, we know she’ll style them out brilliantly.
Now I don’t want to be stereotypical here. I’m not going to say that the fact that Thom is really rather good looking will keep him in the competition. Or that Darcey and Bruno will be blinded by his chiselled cheekbones and charming smile. Or that a nation of Strictly viewers will swoon once his toned biceps are shrouded in sequins and become unable to stop voting. Oh, no.
We all know that sportsmen perform well on the dancefloor – the success of Mark Ramprakash, Darren Gough and Louis Smith speaks for itself – and former Rugby star Evans has the poise and grace of a modelling career on his side too. A future winner? Very possibly.
Having a career as an all-singing, all-dancing popstar who performs live in front of thousands as naturally as we sit down and turn on our TVs is bound to give you an advantage in Strictly.
While plenty of stars step onto the floor having never donned a pair of dancing shoes or mastered a kick ball change, Pixie studied the art at school. And unlike fellow singers Frankie Bridge and Simon Webbe, Pixie isn’t even used to fellow band members to help her out on stage. She’s an obvious frontrunner for a spot in the final.
Ellie is an entertainment, TV and film journalist writing news and (hopefully incredibly witty) comment for RadioTimes.com. She loves light-hearted dramas and glossy US series - and is more than a little bit obsessed with Downton Abbey. Foodie, sun-seeker and aspiring novelist in her own time. Likes the fact that her name rhymes with telly.