Strictly Come Dancing is well and truly BACK for 2017!
Over 9.5 million people tuned in to the launch show on Saturday night, the second biggest audience yet for an opening episode of the show. But don’t worry if you missed the show, we have all you need to know about this year’s celebrities and which professional dancer they are partnered with right here.
Dig out your sequins and scoring paddles, here are the celebrities, and their pro partners, who will be taking over your Saturday Nights.…
First to be introduced to her partner was actress and model, Gemma Atkinson who will be taking to the floor with Aljaz Skorjanec. Hoping to do her late husband and previous Strictly contestant, Paul Daniels, proud, is the lovely Debbie McGee, who was partnered with Giovanni Pernice. Holby City actress, Chizzy Akudolu, was next! Chizzy is hoping to get hearts racing with her dance partner, Pasha Kovalev – could this pairing be just what the Doctor ordered? Fulfilling her Strictly dreams is TV Presenter, Ruth Langsford, who is in the safe hands of dancing legend, Anton Du Beke.
Following the first few pairings, we got to meet new head judge, Shirley Ballas, who will be bringing 40 years dance experience to the show. Shirley has promised to be “fun, feisty, firm and fair!” We can’t wait to see how the Queen of Latin fits into the judging panel…
We were also introduced to the three new female professionals in a dramatic group dance. Joining this year’s pros are Australian Open Champion, Dianne Buswell, two-time World Champion and European Champion, Nadiya Bychkova, and finally the current British National Champion, Amy Dowden!
First of the male celebrities to be partnered up was JLS singer, Aston Merrygold, who will be bringing backflips to the ballroom with his pro partner, Janette Manrara. Also joining the cast of Strictly 2017 is Britain’s Most Famous Vicar, Reverend Richard Coles, who will be dancing with new pro, Dianne Buswell. Swapping the Square for the Samba is Eastenders Actor, Davood Ghadami who was partnered with new blonde bombshell, Nadiya Bychkova. TV presenter and Chef, Simon Rimmer, will be embracing this series with his partner, Karen Clifton, but does he have all the right ingredients to make the final?
It only feels like yesterday that Joanne Clifton and Ore Oduba were lifting the glitterball in the Strictly Come Dancing 2016 final! The incredible pair performed their sensational Jive for the final time on the 2017 launch show, before giving some wise advice to this year’s line-up, including “if you can help it, don’t cry… all the time!”
The launch show also saw an emotional tribute to Strictly Come Dancing legend, Sir Bruce Forsyth, who passed away in August. The professional dancers paid their respects with a beautiful routine to Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly Me to the Moon.’ – not a dry eye in the house…
Newsreader, Charlotte Hawkins was then partnered with Brendan Cole and has said she is very much looking forward to being “Strictly-fied!”. Singer, Mollie King, is no stranger to Saturday’s! She will be taking on her Strictly journey with pro partner, AJ Pritchard. After confessing her love for a certain pro, comedian, Susan Calman, won the jackpot when partnered with Kevin Clifton. Susan even confessed to having a picture of Kevin on her fridge! Completing this year’s girl squad, is singer and West End star, Alexandra Burke. She is looking forward to getting started in the training room with her dance partner, Gorka Marquez.
Joining this year’s male celebs is Holby City actor, Joe McFadden, who is swapping the Doctor’s coat for sequined shirts with his pro partner, Katya Jones. Champion paralympian, Jonnie Peacock, is hoping to win gold again with the lovely Oti Mabuse. Finally, comedian and actor, Brian Conley, will be bringing laughter to the ballroom with new pro, Amy Dowden.
What do you think to these pairings? And, who shone for you in the very first group dance of 2017?
The hopeful contestants now have three weeks to perfect their first Strictly dance before the next shows, which will air on Saturday the 23rd of September.
5* Weekend Breaks with the stars of Strictly Come Dancing
Who better to teach you to dance than the professional dancers from Strictly Come Dancing? You can meet the stars, learn their steps and be captivated as they perform spectacular shows just for you.
Strictly Come Dancing 2017 pairings in full – Which Celebrity is dancing with which Professional Dancer
Aston Merrygold & Janette Manrara
Brian Conley & Amy Dowden
Davood Ghadami & Nadiya Bychkova
Joe McFadden & Katya Jones
Jonnie Peacock & Oti Mabuse
Reverend Richard Coles & Dianne Buswell
Simon Rimmer & Karen Clifton
Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez
Charlotte Hawkins & Brendan Cole
Chizzy Akudolu & Pasha Kovalev
Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice
Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec
Mollie King & AJ Pritchard
Ruth Langsford & Anton Du Beke
Susan Calman & Kevin Clifton