‘Strictly Come Dancing’ was back with a bang on Saturday night, with all 15 of this year’s celebrity contestants taking to the dancefloor with their partners for the first time.
It was also the first time new head judge Shirley Ballas took her seat on the judging panel, following Len Goodman’s departure from the BBC dance show last year.
Shirley proved to be instant hit with viewers, who praised her constructive criticism…
Strictly’s newest recruit also had to deal with fellow judge Bruno Tonioli getting a little over-excited, when he ended up groping her as he gave contestant Alexandra Burke some feedback.
Meanwhile on the dancefloor, former JLS star Aston Merrygold is an early contender after blowing the judges away with his Foxtrot, earning him top billing on the ‘Strictly’ leaderboard with 31 points.
Judge Craig Revel Horwood said he was “one to watch”, while Darcey Bussell described it as “cool, controlled and confident”.
Debbie McGee narrowly missed out on the top spot with her “outstanding” Paso Doble with partner Giovanni Pernice, who she planted a kiss on at the end of their routine.
‘EastEnders’ actor Davood Ghadami turned up the temperature in the studio after performing a sizzling Cha Cha routine with former Playboy model Nadiya Bychkova, which earned him sixes and sevens.
However, it wasn’t all good news, with Reverend Richard Coles failing to impress the judges, earning a very measly two points from Revel Horwood.
Despite his low score, the former Communards star avoided finishing at the bottom of the leaderboard.
That prize went to ‘Loose Women’ presenter Ruth Langsford, whose waltz with partner Anton Du Beke was described as a “stumble-and-grab dance” by Craig.
“Do better next week, darling,” he told her.