Strictly celebrities will be ‘doing it for Bruce’ as 2017 contestants remember showbiz legend

Contestants Ruth Langsford, Mollie King and Reverend Richard Coles are keen to honour Sir Bruce Forsyth's memory

Bruce Forsyth

Strictly Come Dancing’s return on 9th September will be the first series to air since the death of showbiz legend Sir Bruce Forsyth, and his absence is weighing heavily upon the show’s celebrity contestants.

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Many of the stars – including The Saturday’s Mollie King, This Morning presenter Ruth Langsford and the Reverend Richard Coles – paid tribute to the former Strictly presenter, who hosted the show for 10 years with co-host Tess Daly..

“I don’t think he would want any of us to not be enjoying this and this was his baby and you could see that that shone out of him,’ said Langsford at the 2017 launch show, “and he was such a fabulous dancer so I think this year he will be very much in our thoughts and all of us will really be doing it for him, as well as for ourselves.’

“I think it means that as the cast of 2017 we just want to dance our socks off and give it everything,” Mollie King added according to Metro.

Reverend Richard Coles added: “I thought there might be a sombre start to it and people, especially those who worked with Bruce a lot, are obviously really grief-stricken at his death but he was showbiz incarnate and the show must go on and so that irrepressible spirit I think buoys everybody up really.”

The Strictly Come Dancing launch show took place last night – and it gave the new contestants an early chance to strut their stuff before the show debuts for real in less than two weeks’ time.

The four returning judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli all appeared, along with the rest of the celebrity cast, including Comedian Susan Calman, JLS star Aston Merrygold, showbiz and magic star Debbie McGee and Hollyoaks actor Gemma Atkinson.

Check out some pictures from the launch show here.

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Strictly Come Dancing 2017 will return on Saturday 9th September