STRICTLY 2021: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
From dates and logistics, celebrities and pros, here's everything you need to know about the upcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing.
The launch show records on Saturday 11th September. It's not yet clear whether this will be shown live on BBC One, or pre-recorded and shown at a later date.
The first live show then happens two weeks later on Saturday 25th September, where all fifteen celebrities and their professional partners will take to the floor for the first time. The show then continues every Saturday (with the results show on Sundays) until the live final on Saturday 18th December.
This year's series will see 15 celebrities take to the dancefloor, an increase from the 12 participants last series. Bake Off star John Waite becomes the show's first ever male same-sex pairing.
TOM FLETCHER - Musician and member of McFly
ROBERT WEBB - Actor and comedian
AJ ODUDU - Presenter
JOHN WAITE - Bake Off winner and TV chef
RHYS STEPHENSON - CBBC presenter
SARA DAVIES - Dragons' Den star
DAN WALKER - BBC Breakfast presenter
KATIE McGLYNN - Actress
TILLY RAMSAY - CBBC presenter and social media influencer
GREG WISE - Actor
NINA WADIA - Actress
ROSE AYLING-ELLIS - EastEnders star
ADAM PEATY - Olympic swimming champion
JUDI LOVE - Comedian and Loose Women panellist
UGO MONYE - Rugby player and sports pundit
This year, Strictly will be introducing four brand new pro dancers. They are: World Junior Latin American Champion 2010 and former Dancing With The Stars Ireland professional, Kai Widdrington; six-time Latin and Ballroom National Champion in Italy and former Let’s Dance Germany professional, Nikita Kuzmin; reigning South African Latin Champion, Cameron Lombard and Polish Open Latin Champion 2014 and winner of BBC One’s The Greatest Dancer 2020, Jowita Przystal.
They join the professional dancers already revealed for the upcoming series: Aljaž Škorjanec, Amy Dowden, Dianne Buswell, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova, Nancy Xu, Neil Jones, and Oti Mabuse.
Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse all return to the judging panel. Strictly's longest serving Professional Dancer Anton Du Beke will be taking up residency on the opposite side of the judges desk this year for the entire series, following a two week stint as a judge in 2020.
Due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding international travel restrictions caused by COVID-19, Bruno Tonioli, who has been a fixture on Strictly since 2004 and is also a judge on Dancing with the Stars in the USA, will be unable to take part in the series this year.
Themed weeks, including movie week, Halloween week and musicals week will all return. However, the show will not travel to Blackpool for the second consecutive year due to Covid uncertainty and restrictoins.
The studio audience is back, albeit limited. The audience will be sat in family groups of up to four, each group at a cabaret tables around the studio. Audience tickets are available now, click here for more details.
IT TAKES TWO
A new series of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One means a brand new series of It Takes Two on BBC Two. Airing every weekday at 6:30pm, the show goes behind the scenes of the main show, interviews the celebrities and celebrity guests help analyse that week's performances.
Earlier in the year, presenter Zoe Ball and regular contributor Ian Waite both announced that they will not be returning for this year's series. Rylan Clark-Neal will return to host alongside new, but familiar face, Janette Manrara, who swaps the Strictly ballroom for the It Takes Two sofa. Presenting arrangements are to be confirmed.
The BBC have confirmed the intention to film a traditional Christmas Special this year, which sees previous contestants return to the dance floor for one more shot at winning the glitterball trophy. In 2020, due to Coronavirus restrictions, the special was replaced by a recap episode looking back at some of the show's best bits and best dancers from over the years.
Strictly Come Dancing returns this September on BBC One and iPlayer.