When will Strictly Come Dancing be on TV in 2020? Who are the rumoured contestants? Who are the judges?

Here’s everything you need to know about the 18th series of Strictly Come Dancing


After the glitter fell on another compelling series of Strictly in 2019, we all thought we’d be back in September 2020 to do it all again.


But nobody anticipated coronavirus. Suddenly the future of Strictly Come Dancing 2020 is in doubt, and even if it does come back in September – which everyone, including the BBC, hopes that it will – some drastic changes may have to be brought in. Sadly social distancing has no respect for sequins.

The 18th series of Strictly could also see a pivotal change, with show now “open” to seeing same-sex couples competing together. It’s been a discussion point for years and now ITV rival, Dancing on Ice, has set a precedent. Johannes Radebe and Graziano Di Prima’s stunning same sex professional routine last year should certainly help the cause.

But what else could we potentially see from Strictly in 2020? Here’s everything we know so far…

When will Strictly Come Dancing be on TV in 2020?

It’s yet to be officially confirmed, but we know the drill by now – Strictly season usually kicks off in August, when contestants start being announced. The launch show then normally airs in early September before the series starts proper in late September, all on BBC One. We look forward to themed weeks including Movies, Musicals and Blackpool, as the series leads us up to Christmas.

Of course this is a year unlike any other, and it remains to be seen how social distancing concerns will impact the next series of Strictly. In fact, we can’t be certain it will take place at all, despite the BBC saying it’s a priority show for them.

However Head Judge Shirley Ballas is optimistic the series will return, telling Hello magazine, “I have spoken to Strictly’s executive producer, and I am 99% sure that we will be on screens in one form or another. And we are going to have some fantastic NHS stories. There is going to be a reflection on the coronavirus and what people have done for communities. I think it’s going to be a real tear-jerker.”

Keep checking back at RadioTimes.com for more information.

Who are the contestants on Strictly 2020?

Jamie Laing Strictly (BBC)

As yet no contestants have been confirmed for this year’s series, but already there’s been a few names in the mix.

Jamie Laing accidentally made Strictly history when he was forced to pull out the show before it even began! His foot injury meant he never set foot on the dance floor, and many fans feel it would be the fair thing to do to let him return for series 18.

Other names rumoured for this year’s series include cruising icon Jane McDonald, actress Michelle Keegan, presenter Lorraine Kelly, Corrie actor Jack P Shepherd and presenter Maya Jama. Fitness trainer Joe Wicks was thought to be a dead cert, but has completely ruled out appearing in either Strictly or I’m A Celeb, saying he’d prefer to spend time at home with his family.

This year could see the first ever same-sex couple compete on Strictly, with the BBC having now said they are “open” to the idea.

The BBC said in a statement: “Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and we are proud to have featured same sex dancing amongst the professional dancers in group numbers in previous series. We are completely open to the prospect of including same sex pairings between our celebrities and professional dancers in the future, should the opportunity arise.”

It has since been reported that Strictly bosses now want a drag queen to compete for the Glitterball and RuPaul himself has even been rumoured, following in the footsteps of Drag Race co-star Michelle Visage.

Check back with RadioTimes.com to see more rumours and the confirmed line-up.

Who are the judges for Strictly 2020?

Strictly Come Dancing - Christmas Special 2019

There’s been no official word on who will be on our panel for 2020, though we are expecting to see Shirley Ballas back as Head Judge after her comments on the series returning. We are also likely to see Craig Revel-Horwood return after it was reported he had signed a contract worth £200,000 with the BBC to sit on the panel for another year.

While she has been a hit with viewers and critics alike, new judge Motsi Mabuse may not be returning to Strictly for 2020 after she said she was yet to hear from Strictly bosses.

“They haven’t said anything to me. I’m waiting for that call – again!”she said on The Graham Norton Show.

Long-running host Tess Daly and co-host Claudia Winkleman are likely to return to host the show for series 18, while Zoe Ball and Rylan Clark-Neal are also likely to be back on spin-off show Strictly: It Takes Two.

Who are the professionals returning for Strictly 2020?

We now know who will be dancing as a professional in Strictly Come Dancing 2020 – and there’s a couple of notable missing names.

This year, the professionals are as follows:

  • Aljaž Škorjanec
  • Anton Du Beke
  • Giovanni Pernice
  • Graziano Di Prima
  • Gorka Marquez
  • Johannes Radebe
  • Amy Dowden
  • Dianne Buswell
  • Janette Manrara
  • Karen Hauer
  • Katya Jones
  • Luba Mushtuk
  • Nadiya Bychkova
  • Nancy Xu
  • Oti Mabuse

AJ Pritchard and Kevin Clifton announced they would be parting ways with Strictly for the 2020 series.

It’s currently unknown whether they will be replaced.

However, Oti Mabuse’s husband, Romanian dancer Marius Lepure, has reportedly joined the cast as one of the professional backing dancers, who will take part in the group performances only.

Who won Strictly Come Dancing 2019?

Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Kelvin and Oti

The loose-hipped, last-minute addition to last year’s line-up, Kelvin Fletcher samba’d his way to the top after replacing Jamie Laing at short notice. His progress allowed his professional partner Oti Mabuse to win the glitterball trophy for the very first time. Could she replicate her success for 2020? If she did, she would become only the second professional dancer to lift the glitterball twice, following in the footsteps of Aliona Vilani (who won with Harry Judd and Jay McGuiness). She would be the first professional ever to lift it two years in a row. No pressure then, Oti!

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One in Autumn.


To find out what else is on in the mean time, check out our TV Guide.