It’s that time again, preorder the take away, get your pj’s on, get that glass filled because the king of Saturday night TV is back: Strictly Come Dancing.
Brig is here to give you all the ballroom gossip. From the arrival of four new dancers, to the controversial opinions of the judges including a familiar cheeky face making his official judging debut (Every granny’s favourite, Anton Du Beke). Not to mention the all important question, will the Strictly curse strike this year? Oh and of course we will discuss the dancing.
Do not worry, by the time the finals come round you will be able to tell your Fleckerls from a Sashay and your Samba rolls from your Rumba walks
So in the words of the late great Sir Bruce Forsyth: I think it’s time to meet our Strictly stars.
Adam Peaty and Katya Jones
Freshly decorated olympic swimmer, Adam Peaty, has barely dried off and he is hitting the tanning booth. Honestly, I think that boy needs a well-deserved nap. However, that being said his competitive nature is perfectly matched by quote on quote “slave driver” Katya Jones. So, I don’t think there will be much of a tea break with these two.
AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington.
TV presenter A.J. Odudu is ecstatic to be joining the Strictly line-up. Don’t believe me? Check out her instagram, as she is sharing all the backstage hilarity with her brand new Strictly partner Kai Widdrington. He may be new to the Strictly ballroom but you can be sure that man knows his way round a Cha Cha, and can Tango with the best of them. As he was previously on the American sister show Dancing with the Stars.
Robert Webb and Dianne Buswell
Move over Mitchell and Webb, theres a new double act in town as comedian Robert Webb teams up with everyone’s favourite redhead Dianne Buswell. Now, admittedly, Webb has confessed he is rhythmically challenged and I doubt Shirley is going to be praising his footwork anytime soon. However, there is no doubt that this duo is going to bring the fun on Saturday night.
Katie McGlynn with Gorka Marquez
Soap actress Katie McGlynn, best known for her roles in Coronation Street and Hollyoaks, is hoping that her acting abilities will mask her recent fear of Saturday nights. She is feeling the pressure, as a long list of soap star have lifted that glitter ball trophy. Will Katie join them? However, she shouldn’t fear; she is in the capable hands of Gorka the Corker, who is no stranger to final.
Dan Walker and Nadiya Bychkova
Breakfast presenter Dan walker is cracking the oil out to get those legs moving out behind that red sofa. However, his joints are not his main priority as he is under strict instruction from his kids to: one, not go out in the first week; two, do not be embarrassing. Well, we know one thing’s for sure: with a coach like Nadiya, his joints will be aching and in an ice bath by Tuesday night.
Greg Wise and Karen Hauer
Greg Wise is set to bring the flair and class from his Jane Austen characters (that he is known for) to the Strictly floor. Partnered with the modern attitude and style of Karen Hauer, it should be a successful match. For any eagled-eyed viewers out there, you will be able to see his wife in the audience, Emma Thompson.
John Whaite and Johannes Radebe
Bake off winner John Waite believes he was “born to be Strictly-ified” so hopefully the glitter translates into points for this novice. Strictly is a British favourite so having their first male same-sex couple on the show is the perfect platform for a clear reference point for people — as it’s quite simply normal; as it reflects the society we live in. John and Johannes are both openly gay men and you could see the emotion and pride they had for this partnership.
Judi Love and Graziano Di Prima
Loose Women’s Judi Love was overjoyed when she was paired up with Italian Stallion, Graziano Di Prima. She makes no secret out of the fact that Graziano is nothing short of being built like a Greek god, no wonder she couldn’t contain her excitement. These two in my eyes are going to be the class clowns behind the scenes and I’ll be surprised if they can hear the music over the laughter.
Nina Wadia and Neil Jones.
Eastenders actress Nina Wadia teamed up with firecracker Neil Jones. Honestly I thought this was a weird pairing but I couldn’t have been more wrong as the pair seem to be having a blast in training — just check out Neil’s TikToks. If they can nail the Samba like they nail The Renegade, Craig will be cracking out his ten-paddle.
Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu
CBBC Presenter, Rhys Stephenson, didn’t walk on to the set of strictly, that boy sprinted. As a self-confessed Strictly super-fan, he couldn’t contain his excitement to be joining the cast. However, this isn’t just new territory for Rhys, but his partner Nancy Xu as well. You may recognise Nancy’s face as she has been a professional dancer on the show since 2019, but this is her first celebrity partnership.
Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice
The soap stars will hopefully make this series a dramatic one with Eastenders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis joining the fray. Rose is making strictly history as she is the first deaf contestant on the show. She explains that she wants to break the common misconception that deaf people can’t enjoy music; they just have a different experience to hearing people. Rose explains that she will rely on her partner heavily to help with timings; which will not be a problem for fan favourite Giovanni Pernice.
Sara Davies and Aljaž Škorjanec
Sara Davies, best known for being a no-nonsense business women on Dragon’s Den, is swapping the boardroom for the ballroom. She is a self-confessed teacher’s pet and is determined to at least not go out on the first week, which was music to partner Alijaž Škorjanec’s ears. The pair seem to get on like a house on fire, which will hopefully stand them in good stead for Saturday night.
Tilly Ramsey and Nikita Kuzmin
Celebrity chef and TV personality Tilly Ramsey is joining the line-up this year. So, maybe Craig might be a bit nicer; as I doubt he wants to be on the receiving end of her father Gordon Ramsey’s wrath. Tilly is partnered with six-time Latin and Ballroom National Champion (Italy) Nikita Kuzmin. The pair haven’t made it easy for themselves, as Tilly has just started university and is juggling the two commitments – so I doubt you will see her at the local pub after her lectures.
Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden
Musician Tom Fletcher has his eyes on the prize for one reason: to shut up Mcfly bandmate Harry Judd, who won Strictly in 2011. He has high standards for himself and those are only matched by his partner the wonderful Amy Dowden. However, I’m pretty sure Amy’s year is already been made as she is a self-confessed Mcfly “groupie” and due to Tom’s busy schedule, Amy is going on tour with the band to complete Tom’s training, and we are hearing no complaints.
Ugo Monye and Oti Mabuse
Sports pundit and former rugby union player, Ugo Monye, is trading his rugby boots for dancing shoes. He shared his excitement on his Instagram about the news “My two beautiful daughters never had a chance to see me on the rugby pitch, so to know they can watch me waltzing and twirling every week is really special to me“. Ugo is partnered with self proclaimed “Task-master” Oti Mabuse, who is coming off of her two-year-in-a-row winning streak (with Bill Bailey in 2020, and Kelvin Fletcher in 2019). Can Ugo make it a hattrick?
So, the line up’s complete; Dave Arch and his orchestra are ready; Tess and Claud are in the wings; we have hidden Craig’s three-paddle. Let’s get on with the dancing.
You can watch Strictly Come Dancing on BBC 1 on Saturday nights at 7 p.m. and if you miss it, you can always catch up on BBC iPlayer.
Featured Image Credit: Telly Mix