Strictly Come Dancing 2016 launch show: everything you need to know

Musical guests, the group number, celebrities and the professional partners - it's your guide to Strictly's 2016 opening night

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What time does Strictly Come Dancing start?

6:50pm on BBC1, running until 8:15pm.

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What is the Strictly launch show?

All fifteen celebrities are paired up with their professional partner. They also perform a group number together.

Who are the Strictly 2016 celebrities?

Anastacia

Ed
Balls

Tameka
Empson

Claudia
Fragapane

Lesley
Joseph

Daisy
Lowe

Danny
Mac

Naga
Munchetty

Melvin
Odoom

Ore
Oduba

Louise
Redknapp

Judge Robert
Rinder

Greg
Rutherford

Laura
Whitmore

Will
Young

Will all the pros be partnered up?

No. There are 17 professional dancers this year and 15 celebrities. The two pros left without a famous face to train will appear in group dances, as well as being on standby for injuries or illness. We’re told to expect two of the new pros to be without a partner

Who are the new pros?

There are six new professional dancers in total – get to know a little about each one here.

What is the Strictly group dance?

This year the celebrities have to perform a group jive and plenty of them feel they’ve been “flung in the deep end” with the high-speed dance. 

Will there be a winner’s dance?

Yes, we’ve been told last year’s champs Jay McGuiness and former Strictly pro Aliona Vilani will be back to perform on the opening night. 

Who are the musical guests?

Former X Factor stars Olly Murs and Rebecca Ferguson will both perform.

Who are the judges?

Len Goodman returns as Head Judge for the final time. Bruno Toniolo, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood also return.

Are the hosts the same?

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly are indeed back to run the good Strictly ship. 

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Does the show go off air again after this?

Yep. The celebs will go off and train with their new partners. A return date has yet to be confirmed but we’ve been told ‘later this month’. It is usually a 2 or 3 week gap.