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Strictly Come Dancing 2017: Everything you need to know about week one, from what's happened in training to the dances

Here's what you need to know about the first week of Strictly, from who's performing what to why there's no results show on Sunday

Strictly Come Dancing Class of 2017
Published: Saturday, 23rd September 2017 at 5:41 pm

What time is Strictly Come Dancing on TV?

Strictly's first live week kicks off on Saturday 23rd September on BBC1 at 6.20pm.


For the first time in seven years, the glitz hasn't been spread over two days. In previous years, the celebrities have been split into two groups with their debut dances airing across both Friday and Saturday nights.

However, this year the decision has been made to roll all 15 celebrity dances into one mega launch episode, lasting a whopping 140 minutes. That's two hours and 25 minutes of waltzing, foxtrotting and cha cha cha-ing. So strap yourselves in.

Why isn't there a results show on Sunday?

After this week, every subsequent Sunday will feature a results show where one celebrity will be sent home. Sunday September 24 is the exception to the rule, because as it's the first week, no-one will be eliminated. Which means no elimination show.

Brian Conley and Amy Dowden on Strictly Come Dancing

Instead, the scores from week one will roll over to week two, with the first celeb and their professional partner exiting the show on Sunday October 1.

Who are the Strictly Come Dancing judges?

For the first time in five years, the Strictly Come Dancing panel of judges is going to look a little different.

Strictly Come Dancing Judges 2017

Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood will all be returning for series 15, but there will be one face missing from the panel. Head Judge Len Goodman retired from the show following the last series, and after widespread speculation, his replacement was confirmed as ballroom legend Shirley Ballas.

Strictly Come Dancing Shirley Ballas 2017

The 'Queen of Latin' has said that the celebrities will have to "pull their socks up" with her on the panel, while former Strictly professional and one-time student of Shirley, Joanne Clifton has said that she thinks she will be tougher than Len...but not quite as tough as Craig.

Who are the celebrities on Strictly 2017?

Strictly Come Dancing Cast

The complete line-up stars 15 celebs, who are as follows:

Mollie King, Davood GhadamiCharlotte Hawkins, Rev. Richard ColesAlexandra BurkeDebbie McGee, Susan Calman, Ruth Langsford, Chizzy Akudolu, Simon Rimmer, Jonnie Peacock, Brian Conley, Aston Merrygold, Gemma Atkinson and Joe McFadden.

You can read the full list of confirmed Strictly stars here, and you can watch Radio Times' exclusive interviews with every single celebrity and their professional dance partners below:

Who are the professional dancers on Strictly 2017?

There might be 15 celebrities, but there are 17 professional dancers in the Strictly class of 2017.

Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers 2017

Returning pros are Karen Clifton, Anton Du Beke, AJ Pritchard, Oti Mabuse, Brendan Cole, Gorka Marquez, Kevin Clifton, Giovanni Pernice, Pasha Kovalev, Aljaž Škorjanec, Katya Jones and Janette Manrara.

Strictly Come Dancing 2017 male professionals

Then there's newbies Amy Dowden, Dianne Buswell and Nadiya Bychkova as well as Neil Jones and Chloe Hewittt, who don't have celeb partners.

What are the celebrities dancing to in week one?

We already know that Susan Calman will be getting even more mad about Kevin Clifton and that Rev. Richard Coles will be talking to the angels as the song and dance list for week one was revealed last week.

Susan Calman and Kevin Clifton on Strictly Come Dancing

Click here for the full list of dances and songs the celebrities and professional dancers will be performing for week one of Strictly.

What's happened in training so far?

Plenty of the celebrities and professionals managed to fit in a bit of tweeting in between the first day of rehearsals on Monday, with Susan Calman making good on her promise of essentially kidnapping Kevin Clifton by taking him to her house and enveloping him in cats, while Rev. Richard Coles tweeted that pro partner Dianne Buswell has started calling him “Revo”. Amazing.

Then Joe McFadden and Katya Jones had a surprise visitor in the shape of last year's people's champion Ed Balls. Sadly he seemed to have left his bright blue suit at home.

As they headed into dress rehearsals for Saturday night, the celebrities and pros tweeted their way through their preparations. From being down the pub and hanging out with the Cliftons to taking on-set selfies, this is how the celebs have been preparing the day before Strictly's first live show.

Why don't all the Strictly professionals have partners?

You have to spare a thought for poor Neil Jones and Chloe Hewitt. For the second year in a row, both of these Strictly pros have been left on the subs bench. Neither of them have a celebrity partner this year, although they will both be contributing lots to It Takes Two on BBC2, and starring in and choreographing the group dance routines on the show.

Neil, whose wife Katya Jones is this year partnered with Joe McFadden, exclusively told that although he would “love” to have a partner on the show, he thought it would be unlikely from the beginning because of the lack of changes to the male dancer line-up.

Neil Jones and Chloe Hewitt on Strictly Come Dancing

“It’s OK,” he told about sitting out this series. “There’s 15 celebrities, so we always knew there was going to be an imbalance. That was my role last year. There’s been no changes with the men, so even coming into it – we didn’t know until the last minute – but I already had that in my mind.

“I would love to be in the same situation as everyone else purely because of the experience, and when I speak to them each day – ‘We’re going through this and this is happening’ – you’d love to be there. But at the same time I love being part of the show and I’m busy with It Takes Two! I’m sure they’re going to get me learning some new dances this year.”

Who's presenting Strictly Come Dancing?

Strictly Come Dancing presenters Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly

As ever, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will be returning to host the biggest show on TV.

When are Strictly's Movies Week, Halloween Week and Blackpool Week?

We already know that Blackpool Week has been announced for Saturday 18th November, although dates for Movies Week and Halloween Week are yet to be confirmed – although the latter is expected to take place on 28th/29th October.

When is the Strictly final 2017?

This much we do know. The Strictly final this year will be on Saturday 16th December.

Is there a tribute to Sir Bruce Forsyth on Strictly 2017?

Strictly paid tribute to Sir Bruce Forsyth during the launch show with an emotional performance from the cast of professional dancers, which you can watch below:

It had previously been announced that there would be a “heart-felt performance” from the professional dancers to celebrate the former Strictly presenter, who passed away aged 89 on 18th August.

Strictly executive producer Louise Rainbow said at the time: “The thoughts of everyone here at Strictly are still very much with Sir Bruce’s family. Of course, we will be paying tribute to Sir Bruce at our launch show and this will include a heart-felt performance from our Strictly professional dancers. We all want to celebrate him and all that he loved about the show. Sir Bruce was, and will always be, a huge part of Strictly Come Dancing.”


Strictly Come Dancing airs at 6.20pm on Saturday September 23 on BBC1.


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