It might still be summer but all anybody can talk about is Strictly Come Dancing.
This year’s judges and professional dancers are all changing, with Anton Du Beke joining the panel and Janette Manrara leaving the show to present It Takes Two.
Meanwhile the format for 2021 has been confirmed, and it doesn’t include Blackpool Tower, while rumours for the this year’s contestants have been rife for months. The start date has also been teased by one of the judges.
And now BBC One has confirmed the first three celebrities in this year’s line-up will be announced on The One Show on Wednesday, August 4.
Read more:Craig Revel-Horwood reacts to judging panel change ahead of Strictly 2021
So ahead of the exciting news, here’s everything you need to know, from the start date to judges, this year’s format change and more.
Who is among the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 line-up?
The first three contestants were revealed on the BBC One Show on Wednesday evening.
The broadcaster wrote on Twitter: “We are so ready to reveal the #Strictly class of 2021! Meet our first three celebrities, tonight 7pm @BBCTheOneShow.”
Tom and Giovanna Fletcher
The first trio to be revealed on the show was Tom Fletcher, following his wife Giovanna Fletcher’s footsteps of celebrity game shows. Less than a year after her win in the Jungle, Tom will try to lift the Glitterball trophy.
And to add more pressure, his bandmate Harry Judd already won the show in 2011.
Tom said: “I think the fact that I’m actually going to be dancing on Strictly this year has only just started to sink in while I’m writing this! I’m incredibly excited, of course, but also totally terrified! My kids were excited too until I started showing them my best dad-dancing in the kitchen. I’m not sure how far they’ll get me in the competition but I can’t wait to add some new moves to my embarrassing dad-dancing repertoire.”
Tom is best known as a lead vocalist and guitarist in McFly, one of Britain’s most successful bands. Tom has penned ten UK number one singles for McFly, as well as written a number of chart-topping songs for bands such as One Direction, Busted and 5 Seconds of Summer.
Alongside his music career, Tom is also one of the UK’s bestselling authors for children, with his books, including The Christmasaurus, The Creakers and There’s a Monster in Your Book, going on to be translated into over 30 languages.
(Image: Ian West/PA Photos)
Peep Show comic Robert Webb was the second contestant revealed to be joining the line-up.
Robert Webb, 48, has already won one BBC dancing competition after triumphing in Let’s Dance for Comic Relief in 2009, where he wore a leotard and performed the What A Feelin’ sequence from the movie flashdance.
Robert said: “I am ludicrously excited to be taking part in Strictly this year. It’s a big, generous, joyful show and I can’t wait to get packed into a spandex onesie and fired from a glitter cannon directly at Claudia Winkleman. At least I think that’s what happens. My goal is to try and survive from week to week without causing serious injury to myself or innocent bystanders. I know it’s going to be a challenge. To do well in this competition is a test of character, although mainly it’s a test of dancing.”
Robert is a television, film and theatre actor well known for his comedy partnership with David Mitchell. Also an acclaimed author, his memoir, How Not To Be A Boy, went on to become a No.1 Sunday Times Best Seller and his debut novel, Come Again, was published last year.
The final celeb to be announced on the One Show was TV presenter AJ Odudu. She has worked on shows including The Voice, The Voice Kids, Big Brother’s Bit On The Side, Don’t Rock The Boat and Apocalypse Wow.
AJ, 33, said: “I am beyond chuffed that I am going to be on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing and I’m so glad I can finally tell my mum. Her face will be a picture, she’s going to be over the moon! I absolutely love the show and am fully committed to making the most of every second of the Strictly experience. Bring it on!”
More names will be announced in the coming days ahead of the BBC1 series starting next month and speaking earlier this week judge Shirley Ballas told ITV’s Loose Women that “of all panels, you have never seen such celebrities as you are going to see on this particular show”.
When does Strictly Come Dancing 2021 start?
Strictly 2021 start date, judges and professionals as line-up announced
The dancing competition usually launches in September and it doesn’t look like this year will be any different.
During a recent interview on This Morning judge Craig Revel-Horwood divulged some details to Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.
“We go live at the end of September I think,” Craig told Phil when asked when the start date was. You can read more on the interview here.
Who are the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 judges?
Anton Du Beke
There’s been a bit of a shake-up in 2021 with professional dancer Anton Du Beke taking over from Bruno Tonioli.
Bruno, who has been a fixture on Strictly since 2004 and is also a judge on Dancing with the Stars in the USA, said he was “gutted” not to be on the show this year but excited to see Anton to take his place.
When it was announced it June, Anton said: “My loves I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be stepping into Bruno’s brogues for the next series of Strictly.
“It’s a dream come true to be judging alongside the best of the best and I promise to be kinder to all the couples than any of them have ever been to me.”
He will join the panel alongside Craig, Oti Mabuse and Shirley Ballas.
Who are the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 professionals?
Strictly Come Dancing’s Janette Manrara will no longer dance on the show
Four new pro dancers will be vying for the glitterball this autumn, while long-standing competitor Janette Manrara will be dropping out.
Like Anton, however, Janette will still have a role on the show as she’s taking over from Zoe Ball on It Takes Two. You can read more on this here.
New dancers incluide world Junior Latin American Champion 2010 and former Dancing With The Stars Ireland professional Kai Widdrington.
Six-time Latin and Ballroom National Champion in Italy and former Let’s Dance Germany professional Nikita Kuzmin.
Reigning South African Latin Champion Cameron Lombard and Polish Open Latin Champion 2014 and winner of BBC One’s The Greatest Dancer 2020, Jowita Przystal.
They join the professional dancers already revealed for the upcoming series: Aljaž Škorjanec, Amy Dowden, Dianne Buswell, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova, Nancy Xu, Neil Jones, and Oti Mabuse. You can read more about the professional line-up here.
What is the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 format change?
This year Strictly bosses hope to bring back a live audience after Covid-19 prevented family and friends watching the show live from the studios in 2020.
A full set of celebrities is also on the agenda after the line-up last year was axed from 15 to 12.
Themed weeks are also back, including movie week, musicals week and Halloween week, although the traditional mid-series jaunt to Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom won’t be returning.
You can read more on the format change here.
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