Strictly Come Dancing 2017 won’t launch on Friday night for first time in seven years

Instead of the launch episode being split, the BBC have rolled all 15 dances into one bumper episode that will have the same run time as The Shawshank Redemption

Ruth Langsford and Anton Du Beke on Strictly Come Dancing

The first live show of Strictly Come Dancing 2017 is set to be EXTRA long, after the BBC confirmed that the opening week would not be split into two episodes.

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Since 2010, the first week of Strictly has seen the celebrity couples divided into two groups, with one batch performing for the first time on Friday night and the others on Saturday.

However this has been changed for 2017. Now, this first week is being rolled into one mega behemoth of an episode with the same running time as The Shawshank Redemption.

The first live show of the series will air on Saturday 23rd September, starting at 6.25pm and finishing at 8.45pm. That’s an incredible two hours and 20 minutes – or 140 minutes if you’d prefer – of glitter madness.

But as it’s the first week, none of the couples will be eliminated. Instead, the judges’ scores will roll over to next weekend when viewers will get the chance to vote for their favourite couple – and one celebrity will become the first to leave the ballroom.

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With nearly two and a half hours without any let-up, never mind keeeeeep dancing: the nation’s going to be more concerned with keeeeeping their legs crossed. There won’t be any time for a toilet break amongst all that jiving and waltzing.