ENTERTAINMENT
03/09/2021 08:39 BST | Updated 03/09/2021 09:16 BST

Strictly Come Dancing Start Date Confirmed – And We Don’t Have Long To Wait

Dance shoes at the ready.

Strictly Come Dancing bosses have confirmed the start date of this year’s series – and the good news is we don’t have long to wait.

The BBC dance show will return to our screens on Saturday 18 September with a spectacular launch show hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, which will see this year’s celebrities paired up with their professional dancers.

Karwai Tang via Getty Images
Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly

The following week will see this year’s Strictly stars take to the floor for the first time to show off their moves with their professional dance partners.

After the 2020 series of Strictly was trimmed down to nine weeks from the usual 13 due to the pandemic, fans will be pleased to hear that execs have confirmed there will be a regular run this year, although there will still be no Blackpool show.

The judging panel will look different as once again Bruno Tonioli is unable to take part due to Covid restrictions preventing him from travelling back and forth from the US to judge both Strictly and its American counterpart Dancing With The Stars. 

Rather than going for three judges again like they did last year, Strictly bosses are bolstering the panel back up to four with the addition of Anton Du Beke

The long-serving professional dancer will sit alongside Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and head judge Shirley Ballas.

We’ll also be introduced to four new professional dancers.

Jowita Przystal, the winner of Simon Cowell’s short-lived BBC dance competition The Greatest Dancer, and Kai Widdrington, who previously competed on Britain’s Got Talent and Strictly’s Irish equivalent, Dancing With The Stars will both be joining the show.

Also joining the Strictly family will be South African Latin champion Cameron Lombard and Nikita Kuzmin, who previously danced on Germany’s Let’s Dance.

All 15 of this year’s Strictly stars have now been announced.

McFly singer Tom Fletcher, comic actor Robert Webb and TV presenter AJ Odudu were the first three celebs to be confirmed.

Joining them on the show will be CBBC star Rhys Stephenson and Bake Off favourite John Whaite, who will make Strictly history as one half of the show’s first-ever pairing made up of two men.

Dragon’s Den star Sara Davies, soap actor Katie McGlynn and BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker have also been confirmed for the upcoming series, as have TikTok star and chef Tilly Ramsay, perhaps best known as the daughter of Gordon Ramsay and Greg Wise, whose acting credits include Sense & Sensibility and The Crown.

Two EastEnders stars have also joined this year’s series after former cast member Nina Wadia was announced, while Rose Ayling-Ellis who plays Frankie Lewis in the BBC soap, will make history as the first deaf contestant to take part on Strictly.

Completing the line-up are Olympic gold-medal winning swimmer Adam Peaty and Loose Women star Judi Love.