Strictly Come Dancing 2022: From Start Date To Line-Up, Here's What To Expect

The landmark 20th series will see the return of a full studio audience and possibly Blackpool Week – and there could be a royal surprise, too.
Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly
Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly

It might seem slightly unbelievable, but Strictly season is nearly upon us once again as a brand new set of set of celebrities get ready to sashay onto that famous dancefloor.

As such, various details about the forthcoming 20th series have already started trickling in, which is doing nothing to slow down our excitement for its return.

Here’s what we know so far about Strictly Come Dancing 2022...

When is Strictly likely to start then?

Going by last year’s series – which returned to its regular length after a shorter run in 2020 owing to Covid – the launch show looks likely to air on 17 September, with the live shows then beginning on 24 September in line with previous years.

While the 10 September has been mooted as a possible airdate for the launch show by some outlets, the the last two years has actually seen the show has broken with its previous tradition taking a two-week break in between the pre-recorded launch show and the main competition kicking off, instead showing it the week before.

Of course, the BBC will confirm air dates in due course, but we do know that the launch show is being recorded on 7 September.

Who is taking part?

The BBC has now officially announced all 15 celebrities who will be taking to the floor this year.

The reveals began with actor Will Mellor and former Coronation Street star Kym Marsh on 4 August.

Who is on the judging panel?

Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke
Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke
BBC/Guy Levy

After standing in for Bruno Tonioli last year, Anton Du Beke has been confirmed as his permanent replacement as a judge on Strictly, this year.

Bruno has been absent from the panel for the last two series owing to pandemic travel restrictions, and has since decided to leave Strictly in order to focus solely on his judging role on the US version of the show.

Once again, Anton will sit alongside returning panellists Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and head judge Shirley Ballas.

What about the professional dancers?

Carlos Gu; Lauren Oakley; Michelle Tsiakkas; Vito Coppola
Carlos Gu; Lauren Oakley; Michelle Tsiakkas; Vito Coppola

The show will have the biggest line-up of professional dancers in its history when it returns, after welcoming four new pros into the fold.

European cup winner Vito Coppola, Chinese National Champion Carlos Gu, former Under 21 British National Champion Lauren Oakley and Latin dance champion Michelle Tsiakkas are all joining the line-up.

Their arrivals follow the exits of fan favourites Oti Mabuse and Aljaž Škorjanec, who both announced they were standing down as pros earlier this year.

Vito recently competed in and won Ballando con le Stelle, the Italian version of Strictly, while Lauren recently appeared alongside Strictly regulars Giovanni Pernice and Anton Du Beke in their national tours.

Michelle Tsiakkas has also starred alongside a number of Strictly pros in the stage show Burn The Floor.

Who is presenting?

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly are expected to return as hosts
Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly are expected to return as hosts
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

While it has not yet been officially confirmed, it is widely expected that long-standing hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will be back at the helm of this year’s Strictly.

Will there be a live audience this year?

The Strictly Come Dancing ballroom
The Strictly Come Dancing ballroom
Guy Levy/BBC

Over the last two years, there has been a heavily reduced studio audience.

In 2020, this was due to social distancing restrictions and subsequent national lockdowns. While there were no Covid laws in place last year, bosses kept the reduced audience in a bid to protect the stars on the show from catching the virus and forcing them to miss a week of the competition.

However, the ballroom will once again open its doors to the public for its 20th series.

The BBC said: “We’re extremely excited to be able to welcome an audience back to the studio for this year’s shows.”

How can I get Strictly audience tickets?

The BBC’s Shows and Tours website is the only place to try and secure tickets for the Strictly audience.

Tickets are always allocated by random draw, with a limit on the number you can apply for (usually one pair of tickets).

Registration is now open for an exciting professional dancers pre- record on Wednesday 24 August and for this year’s launch show, which is recording on Wednesday 7 September.

Fans will be able to apply for tickets for the live shows in a separate random draw, which will open nearer the time.

What about Blackpool?

There hasn't been a Blackpool special since 2019
There hasn't been a Blackpool special since 2019

Likewise, it has been claimed the show is hoping to return to Blackpool for its annual special from the iconic Tower Ballroom after a two-year hiatus.

The BBC is yet to confirm plans, however.

And what’s this about a Buckingham Palace special?

There could be a special from inside Buckingham Palace
There could be a special from inside Buckingham Palace
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In June, The Sun claimed the BBC has been invited by the royal family to air a live show from the palace later this year.

Reports suggest either the semi or quarter-final of the series could be broadcast from the residence’s ballroom.

Neither the BBC or the Palace has commented on the reports, but Anton Du Beke recently welcomed the idea.

During an appearance on Good Morning Britain, he said: ”[The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall] have been great fans of the show over the years.

“I would love to say yes. I don’t know about the show, I hope so. I would like to go and have a dance with someone.”

What about It Takes Two?

Janette Manrara and Rylan Clark
Janette Manrara and Rylan Clark

Last year’s series saw former pro dancer Janette Manrara replace Zoe Ball as one of the hosts of the daily BBC Two spin-off It Takes Two.

While no details about the 2022 series have been announced so far, it is expected she will return alongside co-host Rylan Clark.


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