Strictly season has officially begun! The first live show airs tonight on BBC One, with the Strictly Come Dancing line-up taking to the dance floor for their big debut.
Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman return as hosts, while Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke and head judge Shirley Ballas will are all back on the judging panel.
Last weekend, the celebs were paired up with their professional partners and they've been busy training for their first performances – with the judges ready to, well, judge them.
Read on for everything we know so far about Strictly Come Dancing 2023, including the hosts, professionals and the confirmed release date for the launch show.
Strictly Come Dancing 2023 release date: What time does it start?
The first Strictly Come Dancing 2023 live show will air 6:15pm tonight, Saturday 23rd September, on BBC One, the BBC has confirmed.
All the celebrities will be performing, the judges will be scoring, but there will be no public vote.
You'll get the chance to cast your votes next weekend though, don't worry.
Who is competing in Strictly Come Dancing 2023? Confirmed line-up
After weeks of rumours and speculation, we finally know the confirmed names for the Strictly Come Dancing 2023 line-up. Here are the celebrities taking part:
- Amanda Abbington
- Angela Rippon
- Layton Williams
- Krishnan Guru-Murthy
- Eddie Kadi
- Angela Scanlon
- Zara McDermott
- Adam Thomas
- Nikita Kanda
- Ellie Leach
- Jody Cundy CBE
- Bobby Brazier
- Nigel Harman
- Annabel Croft
- Les Dennis
Many of the stars have spoken out on their expectations leading up to the show, with Bobby Brazier saying: "I'm excited to hear what [the judges] have to say and take it back to the studio."
He added: "The journey that I'm going to go on with my partner, and my friends now, it's going to be so beautiful. They're going to see me at my best and at my worst, and it's just a really sweet thing, I think."
Angela Rippon, who's the oldest contestant to ever take part in the show, said of why she signed up: "I think if we can get the message across, that it is a great way of keeping fit even during your 20s and 30s, and think ahead to when you're going to be old.
"And the number of people that are dancing in their 60s and 70s or 80s and 90s, it's fantastic and it's good for the brain as well."
Adam Thomas, meanwhile, has said he just wants to make his kids smile with his appearance on the show.
Strictly Come Dancing 2023 hosts
While Tess stays close by to the dance floor to speak to each couple after they've performed, Claudia's domain is the gallery, where the other pairs sit patiently waiting for their chance to strut their stuff!
Strictly Come Dancing 2023 judges
As with all our favourite entertainment shows, the series would be nothing without a familiar panel of judges to critique the stars - and Strictly is no different.
The BBC has confirmed that Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke and head judge Shirley Ballas are all returning from last year as the Strictly Come Dancing 2023 judges.
While Craig has been giving his (sometimes harsh!) opinions on the show since its inception in 2004, Shirley Ballas replaced Len Goodman (who sadly passed away in April this year, aged 78) as head judge in season 15.
Motsi Mabuse - sister to former dancer, and winner, on the show, Oti - became a firm fan favourite when she stepped into Dame Darcey Bussell’s shoes in season 17; and former professional Anton Du Beke finally got his time in the sun when Bruno Tonioli quit the show after season 18.
Strictly Come Dancing 2023 professionals
While they may be partnered with a host of famous faces each year, the Strictly Come Dancing professionals have become just as well-known as their celebrity pairings!
Thankfully, we already know that we're only losing one of them this year. Cameron Lombard – who joined the series in 2021 but wasn't given a partner on either of his seasons on the show – has exited the line-up.
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A spokesperson for Strictly said: "Cameron is a fantastic performer and we have loved working with him for the past two years on Strictly. He is currently pursuing other opportunities but will always be part of the family and our door will always be open to him in the future."
The BBC has confirmed Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Vito Coppola, Graziano Di Prima, Amy Dowden, Carlos Gu, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Neil Jones, Nikita Kuzmin, Gorka Marquez, Luba Mushtuk, Lauren Oakley, Giovanni Pernice, Jowita Przystal, Johannes Radebe, Michelle Tsiakkas, Kai Widdrington, Nancy Xu will all be returning for this year's series.
Where is Strictly Come Dancing filmed?
Strictly Come Dancing is currently filmed at Elstree Studios, which is located in London’s Borehamwood - but that isn’t where the show has always taken place.
Prior to its move to Elstree in 2013, Strictly was previously filmed at BBC Television Studio from the first season, which aired in 2004. The first two seasons of the show also featured episodes which were filmed at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool - which, of course, is now a coveted opportunity for the contestants.
Wembley Arena then hosted the show in 2011 and 2012, before Strictly permanently made Elstree its home the following year.
Will Blackpool Week return for Strictly Come Dancing 2023?
Well, we certainly hope so!
Blackpool Week has been a much-loved fan favourite part of Strictly Come Dancing since 2010, but thanks to the pandemic, the glitzy affair was cancelled in 2020 and 2021.
However, last year, executive producer Sarah James announced of the 2022 season: "It's the icing on the cake to be able to confirm that we are returning to the iconic Blackpool Tower Ballroom this year, we can’t wait to get back to Blackpool!"
So we're hoping to see the celebs strut across the famous dance floor this year as well. Fingers crossed!
Strictly Come Dancing starts at 6:35pm on 16th September on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
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