Strictly season has officially started. We’ve waited on tenterhooks for weeks while the new Strictly Come Dancing celebrities were revealed, famous face by famous face, and now they are all but ready to start competing for the most elegant footwork and polished smiles on the dancefloor.
The launch episode, which saw returning champ Caroline Flack perform her final dance and the newbies perform their first ever group number, introduced each of the eager-eyed celebrities to their professional partners, leaving them with just three weeks of training between them and their first live dances.
Aliona Vilani was beyond excited to be paired up with The Wanted’s incredibly nervous Jay McGuiness, while Anton du Beke could barely contain himself after being given Proms presenter Katie Derham (and with her a shot at that glitterball trophy.)
Jeremy Vine said he was “chuffed” to have been paired with newly-wed Karen Clifton while Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo reckons he’s “going to have a lot of fun” with newcomer Oti.
An excited Iwan Thomas began training immediately, picking up his shocked parter Ola Jordan for a spin when their pairing was announced, while Jamelia was left grinning from ear to ear after being matched up with Tristan McManus, who she revealed was top of her wish list…
Here’s the full list of performing pairs:
Helen George and Aljaz Skorjanec
Jamelia and Tristan McManus
Katie Derham and Anton Du Beke
Kirsty Gallacher and Brendan Cole
Carol Kirkwood and Pasha Kovalev
Kellie Bright and Kevin Clifton
Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani
Ainsley Harriott and Natalie Lowe
Jeremy Vine and Karen Clifton
Daniel O’Donnell and Kristina Rihanoff
Peter Andre and Janette Manrara
Iwan Thomas and Ola Jordan
Georgia May Foote and Gionvanni Pernice
Anthony Ogogo and Oti Mabuse
Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 later this month
Robin Windsor, Alex Jones and Sir Bruce Forsyth will be at the Radio Times Festival this September Tickets are available here.