Ever since Strictly Come Dancing pirouetted onto our screens in 2004, the BBC’s flagship ballroom dancing competition has had the nation fixated.
Over the course of its 17 series and counting, the contest has given countless celebrities the chance to risk their dancing dignity in pursuit of the coveted Glitterball trophy.
Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse were the impressive champions in 2019 – but who will take their place in 2020? Here are some of the candidates rumoured to be in the 18th season…
Jack P Shepherd
Jack P Shepherd (Getty Images)
The Coronation Street star has sparked rumours he could be starring in the next series of Strictly, after his girlfriend ask for recommendations about ballroom classes.
Taking to social media, Hanni Treweek – who has been dating the David Platt actor since 2017 – put out the request online. She said: “Does anyone know of any good ballroom dancing classes in Manchester that @jackpshepherd88 and I can do?”
Jack has previously spoken about going on the show, saying he’d much prefer it to Dancing on Ice or I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here. Sounds like he could be getting some practise in early!
Lorraine Kelly (Getty Images)
If her recent posts are anything to go by, we could be seeing Lorraine waltzing on the dance floor this summer.
The TV presenter recently shared a video of her enjoying a dance class with Strictly pro Luba Mushtuk.
“Just a normal day being taught the jive with @lubamushtuk from @bbcstrictly during a brilliant time with @jasonvale,” she wrote alongside the clip, before adding, “I’m the one at the front in the grey hoodie mostly out of step! Brilliant fun,”
Fans are now convinced she’ll be appearing on the show, with one writing: “Strictly this year Lorraine.”
Radzi Chinyanganya (Getty Images)
Just days after Kelvin Fletcher was crowned as the 2019 winner, the Blue Peter star’s name was dropped as a potential contestant for the following year.
Radzi appeared on Dancing on Ice in January, replacing comedian Michael Barrymore who suffered an injury.
And now bookmakers are convinced he’ll be moving over to the rival show.
“Radzi is a late addition to Dancing on Ice and we think he’s had Strictly Come Dancing in his sights for a while too,” Coral’s Harry Aitkenhead explained.
“A strong showing with his skates on could see him swap to the dancefloor next winter and we make him just 5-4 to take part in Strictly next year.”
When Jane McDonald stood down from her Channel 5 cruising show, we couldn’t help but think this meant she has signed up for Strictly – and wouldn’t she be amazing on it? She’s well-versed in the glitz and glam of showbiz and her musicality would put her in the running for the Glitterball Trophy. Watch this space…
River Song herself is keen to take part in Strictly, having previously hinted she would like to be a part of the line-up, but like Sarah Hadland (below), had been discouraged. Alex told RadioTimes.com: “I think let’s just do it! Break the mould. Absolutely break the mould.” But will we see our Doctor Who favourite in the ballroom?
Sarah Hadland (right)
Sarah Hadland of Miranda fame has said she would love to do Strictly. Speaking to RadioTimes.com in 2019, she said: “Every year I have the same thought: ‘I really, really want to do it!'” However, she hinted she had been discouraged in the past from putting herself forward. But will she take the leap in 2020?
Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing was all set to appear on 2019’s series of Strictly, until a devastating foot injury forced him to pull out after the launch episode.
The reality TV celebrity has, however, been offered a mulligan – the Strictly producers have reportedly invited him back onto the show for the 2020 series. Here’s hoping he has better luck this time around!
What’s more, RadioTimes.com spoke to former contestant Saffron Barker, who is pretty sure he’ll be back.
She might have just won the crown on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! but will she undergo her next challenge on the ballroom?
Strictly often pick at least one soap star in their line-ups, and Jacqueline certainly is a fan-favourite who is up for a challenge.
Another previous contestant who fell prey to a medical setback, world No.1 Paralympic table tennis player Will Bayley had to bow out after six weeks of Strictly’s 2019 series after sustaining a knee injury.
Paired with pro dancer Janette Manrara, Bayley had won the Strictly audience’s hearts with his barefoot Contemporary dance to Lukas Graham’s 7 Years, dedicated to the staff at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital who had treated him for cancer when he was a young child.
Bayley has stated in interviews that he would love another shot at the Glitterball trophy, so don’t be surprised if he is one of the first names on the list for 2020, or will he be too busy with the Paralympics this year?
BBC news anchorman Huw Edwards was all set to join Strictly for its 2019 series – but had to turn it down because of the possibility of a December General Election (a good call, in the end).
With an election not currently on the cards for another few years, it seems highly possible that Edwards might now find the time to bust some moves on Strictly in 2020.
Model Caprice Bourret has revealed that she was previously turned down by the BBC after attempting to land one of the coveted spots in the popular dancing show.
She told the Mirror: “I think Strictly would be a lot of fun. But they are just not having it.
“They just say [no] because I was on Celebrity Big Brother. We have approached them but they continuously say no.”
Caprice showed off her moves on Dancing On Ice in early 2020, but will she be reconsidered?
Rumours about the former Girls Aloud bandmate’s involvement have been flying around for a little while now, after she was spotted by eagle-eyed viewers in the Strictly studio audience during an episode of the last series.
Cheryl was surely there in support of her friend and The Greatest Dancer co-mentor Oti Mabuse. However, her presence has been taken by some as a sign of that she might be interested in appearing on the programme… although this should probably be taken with a pinch of salt.
Nevertheless, Cheryl would certainly be a great addition to the series, and judging from her past performances, no one can doubt her ability on the dance floor.
Irish model and TV personality Vogue Williams is no stranger to a dance floor – she’s previously appeared on Dancing with the Stars in 2012.
Williams is tipped by some to feature in the next Strictly Come Dancing line-up, nearly a year after she was reportedly in talks to star in the 2019 series. While that never transpired, the door remains open for a possible 2020 slot.
Talk show funnyman Alan Carr has spoken before about his desire to appear on the series, joking that he had been ‘cornered’ by the show’s producers and agreed to do it.
Carr passed on 2019 because he had “a busy year” ahead – fair enough, given the past 12 months have seen him host his own game show and a film-based panel show, and also serve as a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.
But if his schedule is clearer in the future, then we might well be seeing him strut his stuff on the 18th series of the contest.
Soap-turned-Our Girl star Michelle Keegan is often rumoured to be heading for the Strictly dance floor, especially considering husband Mark Wright is a former contestant himself (and returned for the 2019 Christmas special) – but Wright says he’s not sure if she’d actually be up for it.
“Never say never, but I just think her nerves would go to another level,” Wright told RadioTimes.com.
“She gets quite nervous, I mean I do but I’m more like come on let’s have it! Whenever she watches me, I’ve sent her the tape and she’s like ‘I don’t know how you do it’.”
Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One later this year