The 2016 series of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ is officially underway, and the first order of business during Saturday (3 September) night’s launch show was to pair up the celebrities and professional dancers.
This year’s contestants will be spending an awful lot of time training with their pro partners in the coming weeks, as they attempt to learn moves that should take months to master, in just a matter of weeks.
So, without further ado, here’s who they’ll be dancing with…
- Louise Redknapp & Kevin Clifton
- Melvin Odoom & Janette Manrara
- Anastacia & Brendan Cole
- Greg Rutherford & Natalie Lowe
- Laura Whitmore & Giovanni Pernice
- Judge Rinder & Oksana Platero
- Naga Munchetty & Pasha Kovalev
- Danny Mac & Oti Mabuse
- Claudia Fragapane & AJ Pritchard
- Ore Oduba & Joanne Clifton
- Daisy Lowe & Aljaz Skorjanec
- Ed Balls & Katya Jones
- Lesley Joseph & Anton Du Beke
- Will Young & Karen Clifton
- Tameka Empson & Gorka Marquez
The couples now have three weeks to go off and practice, practice, practice, ahead of the live shows which begin later this month.
As many eagle-eyed fans noticed, two of the professionals don’t actually have partners - but we’ll still see plenty of them during the series.
Chloe Hewitt and Neil Jones don’t have celeb partners but a source has explained the move to Radio Times, telling the magazine: “The show doesn’t see it as putting people on the bench at all.
“It’s a case of having enough people to cover everything as the show gets bigger. There’s more and more stuff for them to do. They’ll still be part of the family. There’ll be no ‘you’re a substitute’ or anything like that.
See all the pictures from the launch show, including the couples getting paired up, below…