Believe it or not, there’s not long at all to go until Strictly season is upon us, as the nation’s favourite dance show returns for its 21st series in the early autumn.
With the countdown now on, there’s more and more information about the new season trickling in – here’s everything we know so far about Strictly Come Dancing 2023...
When does Strictly Come Dancing 2023 start?
The BBC is yet to confirm a start date for the new series, but fans think they’ve worked it out.
According to the BBC’s “Shows, Tours & Take Part” website, the prize draw for potential Strictly audience members is now open, listing the first live show as taking part on Saturday 23 September.
It’s also been reported that the annual pre-recorded launch show is being filmed on on Wednesday 6 September, and going off the pattern of the last few years, fans can likely expect it to air on Saturday 16 September, a week before live shows begin.
Who is hosting?
Earlier in the year, there had been tabloid speculation that Holly Willoughby was being eyed for an additional presenting spot on Strictly, amid claims the BBC was hoping to poach her from ITV following the recent drama over on This Morning. None of the parties involved ever commented on the reports, which turned out to be inaccurate.
Meanwhile, over on spin-off show It Takes Two, Ryan Clark announced his exit earlier in the spring after four years at the helm.
Who are the judges?
The judging panel was the subject of much media interest earlier this year, after head judge Shirley Ballas suggested she was considering her future on the show, having found last year’s series particularly difficult due to online trolling.
Following this, reports claimed that the Strictly judges were holding out on an above-inflation pay rise before signing new contracts – something that was denied at the time.
Who is on the Strictly 2023 line-up?
The 15 celebrities who’ve signed up for this year’s series have now been confirmed.
The first three to be unveiled were actor Amanda Abbington, TV personality Angela Rippon and West End performer Layton Williams, after which comedian Eddi Kadi, news anchor Krishan Guru-Murthy and presenter Angela Scanlon were unveiled.
Joining them will be television host Les Dennis, reality star Zara McDermott, soap performers Adam Thomas, Ellie Leach, Bobby Brazier and Nigel Harman, radio presenter Nikita Kanda, Paralympian Jody Cundy and tennis player Annabel Croft.
Before the announcements came, the rumour will was truly in overdrive, with This Morning host Josie Gibson, Wham! legend Andrew Ridgeley, EastEnders’ Priya Davdra, sports presenter Ade Adepitan, Loose Women panellist Sophie Morgan, actor actor Amy Nuttall and both Emma and Matt Willis all among those reported to have been in consideration.
Which professional dancers are returning?
Almost all of last year’s professional dancers will be returning to the dance floor in 2023.
However, it was previously reported that Cameron Lombard had made the decision not to return, while Amy Dowden will also not be competing while she undergoes treatment for cancer.
Amy had previously shared her hopes to still dance on the series, and told The Mirror in June that Strictly was “leaving the door open” for her to return in whichever capacity she is able.
“If I have to have chemotherapy, I’ll be present in some way, even if I’m in a wig,” she insisted at the time. “I know amazing hair people with Strictly.
“Whether it’s on It Takes Two, or being up in Claudia’s area waiting for the scores, I’ll be there.”
The dancers who will be returning are Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Graziano Di Prima, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Neil Jones, Nikita Kuzmin, Gorka Marquez, Luba Mushtuk, Giovanni Pernice, Johannes Radebe, Kai Widdrington, Nancy Xu, Carlos Gu, Lauren Oakley, Michelle Tsiakkas, Vito Coppola and current champion Jowita Przystal.