Roll up, roll up, for the FIRST live show of the Strictly Come Dancing 2016 season! Six sacrificial lambs, sorry, celebrities will take to the floor with Tess and Claudia tonight and RadioTimes.com will be following all the action live right here and on Twitter @RadioTimes.
Your semi-professional partner for tonight’s proceedings will be me, Sarah Doran. We’ll be LIVE in the ballroom from 9pm but be sure to keep dancing with us throughout the day as we count down to an elegant evening of sequins and SEH-VUUUUUUHNs.
It’s going to be FAB-U-LOUS, darling.
9.57pm Ed Balls is raring to go with an Elvis number tomorrow night and it certainly looks as though Tameka will be tearing up the dance floor. We’ll see you back here tomorrow night at 6.30pm for all the Strictly action as the final nine celebs take to the floor!
Until then, we’ll leave you with that glorious Rinder spin.
9.54pm The scores are in and a 6 and three 7s puts Greg and Natalie at the top of the table with Ore and Joanne on 27.
Naga and Pasha and Lesley and Anton are joint bottom with 23.
9.51pm “By the way it looks, Greg could go all the way my darling” says Bruno. “That’s what I mean by giving it welly.” It’s not precise enough, but the boy’s got talent.
Craig thinks it was flat footed and stompy. “You’re extremely pigeon toed” says Craig, though he admits he “enjoyed it enormously”.
“You are certainly built to jive” says Darcey, who describes Greg as a “blue frog”. She’s impressed.
“You’re the dynamic duo” says Len, who thinks Greg’s done well “for a bloke who spends his time larking about jumping in a sand pit”.
9.47pm And Greg Rutherford LAUNCHES into the air to kick off the final dance of the evening. A jive, with partner Natalie.
9.43pm “The tango is thunder and lightning, it’s not lollipops” says Len, who wants to see a full routine from a good dancer.
“I like a tango with a cheeky spin” says Bruno who enjoyed watching both the nerd and the controller.
Craig says he loved all the story telling and thought the dance was strong and dramatic. “Well done” he says.
And Darcey is all smiles. “For me, you have so much potential”, she says.
9.45pm Ore’s scores are in and it’s a 7 from Craig, a 7 from Darcey, a 6 from Len and a 7 from Bruno!
9.39pm The first tango of the series comes courtesy of Ore and Joanne. “Dancing in chinos? That isn’t going to be easy…” muses the Strictly sofa panel.
Well, they’re certainly TIGHT trousers… we’ll say no more.
Is it just me or wasn't there enough fabric in Ore's trousers?? #Strictly
— Joan Collins (@Joancollinsdbe) September 23, 2016
Judge for yourselves…
9.37pm Anton and Lesley’s scores are in and it’s a 5 from Craig followed by three 6s from Darcey, Len and Bruno.
9.35pm “Sophisticated, romantic and elegant” says Darcey, but she’s not too sure about the high shoulders.
Len’s all about the elegance and sophistication, and he’s happy with the footwork. Posture a bit high, but she’s a lovely lady, he says.
Bruno thinks it was acted very nicely and says the dance really touched him. “Don’t be afraid to get stuck in the rug” he smiles and he tells Lesley to stick her pelvis in a bit more.
Craig’s a bit concerned Anton was dragging her across the floor but he’s impressed with the flow.
9.34pm We do love a good sit down after a dance too Lesley.
9.33pm Anton and Lesley are certainly floating around the floor like Birds of a Feather anyway…
9.30pm It’s a 6 from Craig, 7 from Darcey, 6 from Len and 6 from Bruno.
9.27pm Craig’s face says it all. And his mouth says it’s “frenetic”. “It looked like you’d have excessive collagen procedures, darling” he adds, before complimenting his turns and his rhythm.
“It was extraordinary” says Darcey, who describes it as “the wildest surprise I think I’ve ever had”.
“You put the boy in flamboyant” says Len. “If entertainment’s a crime, you’re guilty!”
“I think the jury’s HUNG” says a clearly excited Bruno. “You’ve got my vote!”
9.25pm And with an epic SPIN Judge Rinder gets a TEN from us.
9.22pm Naga’s scores are in!
It’s a 5 from Craig, a 6 from Darcey, a 6 from Len and a 6 from Bruno.
9.19pm Bruno starts off by telling Naga she’s elegant before saying something “went horribly wrong” in the middle. She turned it around in the end though, he says.
Craig’s not sure about the jawline or the rise and fall but says he does think Naga’s got wonderful potential.
Dracey says the quality was “serene” and knows how much Naga was shaking. “You have SUCH a beautiful neck” she adds, “you are going to look stunning”.
Len says it all went wrong with an extra “wing” but he’s happy with the potential and all about the elegance.
9.15pm Naga’s up next and she’s waltzing with Pacha rather elegantly.
“I wanna run to yoooooou” the Strictly singers croon.
We’d wanna run to Pacha and Naga too.
9.14pm And the scores for Laura are in!
Craig 5, Darcey 6, Len 7, Bruno 7
9.10pm Laura loved her Cha Cha and Len says it was lovely, until she lost time. He’s also told her to watch the legs.
Bruno’s a bit more enthusiastic. “You can toy with me any time” he says, before telling Laura she’s got a really sparkly presence. He’s looking for better hip action and little more intention.
Craig’s disappointed about the flexed knees and thought the whole thing was a little unstable. “You look good, darling” he adds.
Darcey’s more than happy with the free and sassy Cha Cha though. She says she enjoyed the upper body, but wasn’t too keen on the knees either.
9.05pm And our FIRST contestant is Laura Whitmore! She’ll be doing a Cha Cha with Giovanni and says the dresses, make-up and hair will REALLY help.
9.03pm That entrance was simply faaaaabulous, darling.
You know what else was fabulous? That time Bruno took a topple…
9.00pm And we’re off with Shakespearian soliloquies on the walk to the dance floor.
Doesn’t everyone look very glittery all together? We dare you not to tap your toes.
8.50 TEN MINUTE WARNING
Quick, check if the kettle is on!
8.37 WARNING! Strictly fever has spread to BBC2 where it appears a young man has just ‘dabbed’ on Mastermind.
— Tristan Cummings (@Tris123) September 23, 2016
For those who aren’t familiar with the term, the ‘dab’ is defined as ‘a dance move in which the dancer simultaneously drops the head while raising an arm and the elbow in a gesture that has been noted to resemble sneezing’.
8.31pm FUN FACT about Judge Robert Rinder.
Benedict Cumberbatch is the reason he gave up acting and went into law.
No joke – he told us himself.
8.25pm ALL RISE says Judge Rinder
— BBC Strictly ✨ (@bbcstrictly) September 23, 2016
Will there be one for the money and the free ride? Or two for the lie that you denied?
Sadly no. He won’t be dancing to Blue this weekend. Here’s what he WILL be dancing to, though.
7.57pm Couldn’t have put it better ourselves, Miranda
De de de de de de de, de de de de de… Worryingly excited. @bbcstrictly
— Miranda Hart (@mermhart) September 23, 2016
7.55pm We haven’t even seen anyone dance yet but the public have already reminded us that it is in fact still 2001 because people want Will Young to win a reality competition – but don’t think he actually will.
Read the full results of the survey here.
7.30pm We’ve hit the sofa just in time for A Question of Sport and we’d be lucky to get SEEEEH-VUUUUHN of Sue Barker’s questions right.
Meanwhile, over on Instagram, Daisy Lowe‘s spinning around.
And Ore Oduba‘s getting some last minute practice in.
5.20pm Speaking of the professional dancers, who is your favourite?
It’s looking VERY tight at the top in our poll.
4.10pm As the clock ticks ever closer to 9pm it’s time to meet this year’s professional dancers. You might spot some new faces among the line-up.
News dancers Chloe Hewitt and Neil Jones didn’t get paired with Strictly celebs this year, but don’t worry: they’ll still be performing in the group dances, running their eyes over the performances in Strictly’s It Takes Two – and acting as back-up just in case there are any unforeseen injuries… Meet the two new dancers here.
Last year’s winner, Aliona Vilani, is nowhere to be seen because she waved bye bye to Strictly after claiming victory (for a second time) with Jay McGuiness!
3.00pm Are you all set for a Strictly party this eve?
With T minus 9 hours to go, here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s show…
And with all that knowledge safely under your belt, there’s nothing left to do but sort your snacks, reserve the sofa, and prepare to be reunited with Craig, Darcy, Len and Bruno for the most footloose Friday night entertainment the Great British Broadcasting Corporation has to offer!
Don’t forget, it’s Len’s last year, so here’s hoping his final run is a Strictly faaaaaaabulous one.