Good evening, and welcome to our first Strictly Come Dancing liveblog of the season. Expect truck-loads of glitter, buckets of fake tan and some week one wobbles as, after three weeks of basic training, we finally get to see six incredibly nervous celebrities take to the Strictly dance floor…
Join me, Ellie Walker-Arnott, live from 9pm tonight and prepared to be Strictly-fied. You can tweet me your comments, questions, queries and snap judgements on tonight’s dances @Ellie_Wa or post in the comments box below.
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So that’s it for tonight. But thankfully we’ve got mere hours to wait until our next Strictly Come Dancing fix. Less than 24 in fact.
I’ll see you back here then. 6:15pm sharp on BBC1, and of course here on RadioTimes.com.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch in the meantime. Not least because I’m the sole Strictly lover in my house and I need someone to debrief all the dances with… I’m @Ellie_Wa. Did I say that already?
Our first glimpse at the leaderboard sees Helen and Aljaz in the top spot with 29, while Carol and Pasha are at the bottom with 16. Obviously this could all change tomorrow when the remaining nine celebrities take to the floor…
Also worth remembering that although we can’t vote this week, these scores will be carried through to next week when we can phone to our heart/bill payer’s delight.
And the scores: 6, 7, 7, 7. The standard is already impressively high.
She gets a standing ovation from the audience, but what do the judges think?
“You’re a born showgirl, saucy Anita,” says Bruno. “I was shocked actually that it was so good,” says Craig, using the word ‘fantastic.’ “That was a vey good Cha Cha Cha,” adds Darcey.
“You gave that plenty of welly,” concluded Len. Lazy punning there, Goodman. You can do better than that.
No wellies but we did have a yellow raincoat. Thankfully she’s taken it off now so we can see that amazing silver number.
Anita next. She’s dancing the Cha Cha Cha, presumably in wellies?
“Your footwork is the best I’ve seen,” says Len. “Very pleasing,” says Bruno. “You danced like the perfect gentleman,” says Darcey.
And Craig can’t help but lower the congratulatory tone, calling the Irish crooner’s efforts “pretty uneventful.”
The scores are in – and they are good: 4, 6, 7, and 7.
O’Donnell is dancing on a field of clovers. Lovely stuff, Strictly.
Next up, Daniel O’Donnell. He, naturally, is dancing to When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.
A TWO from Craig, 5s from Len and Darcey and a 4 from Bruno. The booing continues while Claud mops up the remaining weather puns.
“A flood of errors with a total technical drought” says Bruno. “The cold front blew in darling, and you did not survive it,” added Craig.
And the studio audience boos. Because it’s Carol Kirkwood. She could have stood there smiling for 90 seconds and we’d have loved it. Just wait until we can pick up our phones and vote!
Loving the 80s vibe Carol’s hair is channelling. And that dress. She should totes present BBC Breakfast with that on.
Carol Kirkwood takes to the floor. How many weather puns will we get in the next few minutes? Answer: I’ve already lost count.
Helen George has bagged an EIGHT. As well as three sevens. She’s practically already won the competition. Someone fetch the Glitterball.
Tremendous potential says Craig. Darcey, Helen’s childhood idol, is impressed. “Hold me upside down and smack my bottom,” says Len. “I can’t believe this is week one and we are seeing this standard.”
Anyone else spot Nurse Patsy in the crowd? I wonder who is manning the phones at Nonnatus House…
I’m trying to concentrate on Helen’s feet but I can’t take my eyes off the swirling hem of that AH-MAZING dress. Wouldn’t life just be better if we wore clothes like this instead of jeans with ripped knees?
It’s clear why Helen’s a front runner though. That was, as Tess says, “dreamy.” Can you imagine how excited Trixie would be doing that dance with Aljaz?
As a self-professed Call the Midwife superfan, I’ve got my fingers crossed for Helen George. A few little birds have told me that she’s been impressing in training, but she’s admitted she’s worried about nerves so we’ll see how that translates to the dance floor.
A trouser split wasn’t enough to distract Bruno, who had some less-than-positive feedback for his jolly Jive. Craig says he has “pigeon toes” but reckons he’s still the best boxer they’ve ever had on Strictly…
Next up, the scores: 4 from Craig, 5 from Darcey, 6 from Len and a 6 from Bruno. Not much applause from the studio audience, but this is week one, people!
WARDROBE MALFUNCTION KLAXON! We have our first ripped trouser seam of the series. Anthony Ogogo has burst out of his slim fit slacks.
I’m not sure what I expected from Anthony Ogogo, but he is being super light on his feet and is clearly confident with the performance side of things.
Len’s already cracked out his trademark “SEVEN!” I thought we’d be waiting a couple of weeks for that…
Strictly’s director of choreography Jason Gilkison predicted that the judges might be a bit meaner this year. He might have been mistaken if that first dance was anything to go by…
What’s this? We are just minutes into the competition and Craig Revel Horwood is being nice. Did he just say the word “marvelous”? What a way to kick off the contest for Kellie.
First dance of the series and the first feedback. The judges are being booed already, but there’s no need really.
“Just right Kellie Bright,” says Len.
I’m no Strictly judge (I wish, eh?) but Kellie’s looking good to me. A little nervous perhaps but she’s light on her feet and totally in time. And WHAT AN ENDING. She looks like a pro already!
What do you think? Let us know in the comments or tweet me @Ellie_Wa
A Tango seems like a tough dance for week one to me, but, hey, what do I know? I spoke to the show’s director of choreography yesterday and he says it’s actually surprisingly simple…
EastEnder Kellie Bright is the first celeb to take to the floor this series. Now that’s some pressure!
Little reminder: Caroline Flack was the first to dance last year. And she went on to win the Glitterball. Just sayin’…
As Claudia’s just reminded the delighted celebs, there will be no dance off this weekend – and no public vote. If only every weekend was like this, eh?
Pass the sunglasses. Anita is the sparkliest thing we’ve ever seen, while Katie Derham looks as thought she’s been dipped in glitter paint.
Helen George is channelling vintage vibes, a la Call the Midwife. That’s a Waltzing outfit Trixie would be proud of…
So how is this weekend going to work? Tonight we’ll get to see six celebrities dancing live, while the other nine will strut their stuff tomorrow night from 6:20pm.
We don’t know who tonight’s six will be just yet, but we can assume they will be shaking nervously back stage!
We are live! Tess is looking glamorous as ever in red, while Claud has gone for a rather lovely black and white number. Who else is feeling a little underdressed?
Get used to these opening credits. You’ll be seeing them again and again this series!
And we’re off. Brace yourself for some serious glitter and glitz!
When it comes to what to expect from tonight’s first dances (asides from some seriously terrified facial expressions) we have four dance styles and absolutely no lifts.
The dances are likely to reflect our celebs day job, which means Carol will probably be brandishing an umbrella while Anita Rani attempts to do the Cha Cha in wellies.
Sadly, we have had it confirmed that Peter Andre will 100% not be dancing to Mysterious Girl tonight or at any point during the competition. So I think it’s only right we begin tonight with a somber reminder of what could have been…
There’s just an hour to go until the first celebs hit the dance floor. Time to grab your Strictly sustenance and arm yourself with a sparkly beverage. I’m not ashamed to say I have a mini bottle of prosecco on ice. It just felt right, okay?
I’ll see you back here just before 9:00pm, to hopefully add a little extra sparkle to tonight’s proceedings. This isn’t a one man band though. Do join in by having your say in the comments box – and tweeting me @Ellie_Wa.
I’d also recommend checking out our extra special Strictly page, where we’ve got exclusive video interviews with all the celeb couples.
Here’s Jay McGuiness to whet your appetite…
Before things kick off and our celebs start busting some moves, you have time to sort out your Strictly sweepstake if you haven’t already. Luckily our lovely art desk have created this masterpiece for you to print off and fill in. All you need is 14 Strictly fans willing to play along with you.
Full disclosure. I pulled Ainsley Harriott out of the RadioTimes.com sweepstake. But I will in no way let this affect my ability to objectively live blog. (#TeamAinsley)
Who’s excited? There are just four hours to go until the first live Strictly show of the season – and it’s bound to be a corker. I actually think the first show is always the best. Here’s why…