Strictly Come Dancing waltzes back

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Strictly Come Dancing waltzes back onto BBC One for its 15th series

The award-winning entertainment show returns tonight with more sparkle, glitz and glamour as the Strictly effect sweeps the nation once again!

On Saturday 9 September at 7pm, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman host and roll out the red carpet to welcome the celebrity class of 2017 as they prepare to begin their Strictly adventure.

15 celebrity contestants will make their grand entrance into the famous Strictly ballroom via the red carpet, before the nail-biting moment when they discover who their dancing partner will be. The celebrities and professional dancers will get together to perform a spectacular group number to officially launch the new series in Strictly style.

     Last year we covered Laura Whitmore and Melvin Odoom entering the show.

Reigning Champions and 2016 winners, Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton will also perform tonight.

A special heartfelt tribute to the beloved Sir Bruce Forsyth who was, and will continue to be, at the heart of Strictly Come Dancing.

   Who is taking part this year?

This year, there is a brand new judge joining Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell, and Craig Revel Horwood on the panel. Welcome, Shirley Ballas, the British-born ballroom and Latin dancer, World Champion and international coach known as the Queen of Latin.

The professional dancer lineup welcomes three new sensational dancers who are all Champions from the ballroom and Latin world. They are Dianne Buswell from Australia, Nadiya Bychkova from Ukraine and Amy Dowden from Wales. They join Strictly favourites, Anton Du Beke, AJ Pritchard, Aljaž Škorjanec, Brendan Cole, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Kevin Clifton, Neil Jones, Pasha Kovalev, Chloe Hewitt, Karen Clifton, Katya Jones, Janette Manrara and Oti Mabuse.

Once a celebrity is paired up with a professional dancer, they will then have two weeks to rehearse, before returning to the ballroom to perform live to the nation every Saturday night. There will be no public vote in the first week. The results show with Tess and Claudia will begin from week two on Sunday nights. From then, each week the two couples with the lowest combined scores, from the judges and public vote, will face each other in the dance off. One couple will then leave the competition for good.

At the halfway stage of the competition and now a Strictly Come Dancing tradition, the show will travel to the international home of ballroom dancing. Here the celebrities and their partners will perform at the world famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom.

Zoe Ball will also return to host It Takes Two on BBC Two. The weekday show is back with even more exclusive access and backstage gossip than ever before.

Exclusive behind-the-scenes action will be available on the official Strictly website at bbc.co.uk/strictly and across social media.

   Let’s meet the contestants!

Alexandra Burke

 Alexandra Burke – Popstar

Aston Merrygold

 Aston Merrygold – Popstar

Brian Conley

  Brian Conley – Comedian and actor
Charlotte Hawkins
       Charlotte Hawkins – Presenter and news reader
      Chizzy Akudolu
       Chizzy Akudolu – Actress on Holby City
Davood Ghadami
       Davood Ghadami – Actor on Eastenders
       Debbie McGee
       Debbie McGee  – Entertainer and radio presenter
      Gemma Atkinson
       Gemma Atkinson – Actress and radio presenter
Joe MacFadden
       Joe McFadden – Actor
Jonnie Peacock
       Jonnie Peacock – Paralympic gold medallist
      Mollie King
       Mollie King – Popstar
        Reverand Richard Coles 
       Reverand Richard Coles – Vicar and broadcaster
Ruth Langsford
       Ruth Langsford – TV Presenter
Simon Rimmer
       Simon Rimmer – Chef and TV Presenter
Susan Calman
       Susan Calman – Comedian and Presenter
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