Strictly Come Dancing is the dance competition we all know and love.
The BBC One contest debuted in 2004 and saw celebrities learn latin and ballroom dance routines with a professional partner in a bid to be crowned champion and lift the Glitterball trophy.
It’s safe to say Strictly Come Dancing has stood the test of time and lasted longer than rival entertainment competitions, though we are not surprised – every year we tune in to see celebrities lather on the fake tan and shimmy around in a glitzy wardrobe to show off the fancy footwork they have learnt that week.
And knowing that Strictly Come Dancing 2023 is almost here, marking the show’s 21st series, is making us very excited for the autumn nights in front of the small screen.
Here’s everything we know so far – from the celebrity contestants, when it will air, and how to watch it.
When will Strictly Come Dancing air?
Strictly Come Dancing 2023 will return for series 21 later this year, and the celebrity contestants have already been confirmed.
However, the question on everyone’s lips is when will the first episode land?
The BBC has remained tight lipped over the exact release date and when we can expect to start seeing the stars jiving around on the dancefloor.
If previous years are anything to go by, we anticipate dancers will take to the stage for the first time at the end of September, with the finale usually taking place the week before Christmas.
But we will keep you updated as soon as we learn of the confirmed start date.
Strictly Come Dancing 2023 line up
The BBC has revealed all 15 contestants due to take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2023.
The contestants are familiar faces – from actors and soapstars, to radio presenters and broadcasters, as well as newsreaders and the first former Love Island star.
The full list of celebrity contestants:
- Layton Williams
- Amanda Abbington
- Angela Rippon CBE
- Krishnan Guru-Murthy
- Eddie Kadi
- Angela Scanlon
- Zara McDermott
- Adam Thomas
- Nikita Kanda
- Ellie Leach
- Jody Cundy
- Bobby Brazier
- Nigel Harman
- Annabel Croft
- Les Dennis
Layton Williams has been confirmed to compete on Strictly Come Dancing 2023.
The 28-year-old is known for his performances in West End productions including Billy Elliot and Everyone’s Talking About Jamie, as well as starring in on-screen programmes such as Bad Education.
Layton has another string to his bow, as he runs his own performing arts company Pros From The Shows, so we think his experience will stand him in good stead for Strictly.
Speaking about his next venture, he said: “Absolutely buzzing to confirm that I will be taking part in THE most iconic dance competition in the UK!
“It’s time to bring it to the Ballroom. So excited to learn new skills from the best. Bring on the sequins… ALL the sequins!”
Amanda, 49, is best known for her on-screen appearances in Mr Selfridge and Doc Martin, though she has also starred on-stage in The Unfriend.
Amanda is “thrilled” to be part of this year’s show, and has admitted she is “quite competitive”. Is she one to watch?
Speaking about the show, Amanda said: “I’m actually really shy and self-conscious so this will be a great opportunity for me to overcome those things!
“Plus, I get to learn to dance which I am incredibly excited about. I’m really looking forward to the training too, I’m quite competitive as my family and friends will tell you. I can’t wait to start.”
Angela Rippon CBE
Angela Rippon was announced as a contestant on this year’s show.
The 78-year-old newsreader is scared, yet excited, to take to the dancefloor.
She said: “Having been a fan of Strictly since day one, and as a former presenter of Come Dancing, this will be quite an adventure for me.
“A scary one, considering I’m about to be 79. But I’m really looking forward to the challenge, and perhaps being able to learn to dance the Argentinian Tango.”
Angela is not the only news anchor gracing the dance floor as Krishnan is also competing in the dance show this year.
The Channel 4 Newsreader is one of the longest standing presenters on the programme, but will be swapping interviewing for the pasodoble.
His motto for the competition: YOLO!
He said: “I’m surprised, delighted and slightly confused to find myself taking part in Strictly on the basis of ‘You only live once’, and I can’t wait to start learning to dance, but I am slightly worried about my general decrepitude.”
Strictly often sees a radio presenter take to the floor, and this year the radio representative is Eddie Kadi.
Announcing on his segment on BBC Radio 1Xtra, Eddie revealed he would be performing in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.
Eddie has tried his hand at acting and stand up comedy, which could help him on the show.
Sharing the news, he said: “Anyone who knows me understands that music and dance is so important and central to who I am.
“I’m so unbelievably proud and honoured that Strictly and the BBC have asked me to join the 2023 Team. I promise you, I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”
Angela Scanlon is typically heard on the radio hosting BBC Radio 2’s breakfast show, after her success hosting shows on RTE.
Now, the ITV presenter is concerned over how comfortable the Strictly Come Dancing outfits will be, and the beauty secrets.
She said: “Will they make me tan? How itchy are sequins?! Do they do flesh coloured sports bras? Well – there’s only one way to find out, right!?”
Zara McDermott shot to fame after she appeared on the fourth season of Love Island in 2018.
However, she has since gone on to host her own hard-hitting documentaries, which covered a range of topics from revenge porn to eating disorders.
But now she is preparing to join the Strictly family, with her participation making her the first Love Island contestant to sign up for the show.
Speaking about her Strictly debut, she said: “I am so excited to be joining the world of Strictly!
“I grew up watching it every year with my nan and she was the biggest Strictly fan.
“We would dance around the house and I have such fond memories of that time in my life.”
Adam Thomas – and his famous brothers – have competed in their fair share of shows, from soaps and competitive programmes and reality TV.
Adam shot to fame on Emmerdale, which saw him play the role of Adam Barton, and also starred in BBC One’s Waterloo Road as Donte Charles.
He has taken part in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here back in 2016, and even went on to co-host the spin off show I’m A Celebrity Extra Camp.
Now he’s swapping the jungle for the dazzling dancefloor.
He said: “I can’t dance to save my life but I’m buzzing to learn and have a good laugh with my pro. Get me on that dance floor…I can’t wait!”
Nikita is currently the host of the BBC Asian Network’s Breakfast show, and has interviewed a long list of famous faces.
Now she will be swapping her early morning segments for evening slots on Strictly Come Dancing, which tends to air around 7pm.
Speaking about her new project, she said: “I can’t believe I’m going to be on Strictly. This is a dream come true. I’m still pinching myself.
“I don’t think it will properly sink in until I step onto the dancefloor. I can’t wait to get glammed up and get out there. Throw the glitter on me.”
Ellie will be another soapstar swapping their storylines to portray passionate scenes in a samba, or bring the judges to tears with a slow waltz.
Ellie is best known for her role as Faye Windass on Coronation Street, which she has fronted for 12 years, and her family are beyond proud to see her on Strictly.
She said: “My dad rarely shows his emotions but he was like ‘The hairs on the back of my neck are standing up, I’m so proud of you’.”
Jody is a World and Paralympic Champion with an extensive collection of medals for his triumph in major championships.
He has taken home eight gold medals, one silver and three bronze for his abilities in swimming and cycling events in the Summer Paralympics.
Plus, he holds 23 world titles, one of which is the recent World Cycling Championships title, and he is the first man in Great Britain’s Paralympics history to be successful across seven different games.
Will Strictly Come Dancing‘s glitterball trophy be another medal to add to his collection?
Speaking about the show, he said he was “excited to be welcomed into the Strictly family and throw myself head first into the world of ballroom dancing.”
He added: “So far away from what I’m used to, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and pushing myself way out of my comfort zone, especially as I’m always last onto the dance floor. Can’t wait to get stuck in, bring on the glitter and sequins.”
Bobby Brazier is the son of the late Big Brother star, Jade Goody, and presenter Jeff Brazier.
But the 20-year-old has also forged a successful acting and modelling career, which has seen him walk the catwalk for Dolce & Gabbana, and star as Freddie Slater in EastEnders.
So, how does his dancing abilities compare?
Bobby said: “I’m so excited to be part of the Strictly line up, I can’t wait to start training like a professional dancer and adding a few moves to my locker. I’m looking forward to performing in-front of everyone, it’s going to be so much fun!”
Another soapstar thrown into the Strictly mix is Nigel Hardman, otherwise known as Dennis Rickman in EastEnders.
However, some may be more familiar with Nigel’s appearances in Downton Abbey, Hotel Babylon or Casualty.
Nigel has also starred in musical productions, such as Guys and Dolls, Shrek The Musical, as well as movies including Blood Diamond, The Outsiders and much more.
Nigel has joked he thinks he is a better dancer than he really is, but only time will tell.
Speaking previously, he said: “I’m amazed, excited, and terrified to be doing Strictly. As an armchair fan of the show I have watched in awe as people have twirled and gyrated across the screen. And now it’s my turn.
“As the days have crept up to this moment I’ve been going what have I done? I’m excited to be out and proud now.
“I’ve just stepped onto a rollercoaster. I think I’m realising as time goes on I think I’m a better dancer than my body is telling me.”
Annabel Croft is a former tennis player, who was recognised as the youngest British player at Wimbledon for 95 years as she was only 15 years old when she took to the court.
Since leaving the sport, Annabel has taken part in other competition shows, such as Treasure Hunt and Inceptor, but now it’s time for Strictly.
Annabel said: “I have always loved watching Strictly and can’t quite believe I’m going to be part of this magical show – swapping tennis balls for glitter balls and looking forward to finding some joyfulness in the process.”
“I am beyond excited. I’ve always loved this magical, magical show. I’m also a bit terrified at the same time.”
Les Dennis has been on the small screen for many years, and though he may be best known for hosting Family Fortunes, he has also starred in BBC sitcom Extras, as well as Coronation Street.
Despite his comedic past, Les was not joking when he signed up for Strictly.
The 69-year-old shared: “I’m thrilled to be doing this iconic wonderful show as I approach my 70th birthday!
“In my career I’ve always gone for challenges outside my comfort zone and this is the ultimate one! Can’t wait.”
Who are the professional dancers?
This year there are said to be no new dance professionals taking to the stage, but the existing experts many may be familiar with already.
- Dianne Buswell
- Nadiya Bychkova
- Graziano Di Prima
- Amy Dowden
- Karen Hauer
- Katya Jones
- Neil Jones
- Nikita Kuzmin
- Gorka Marquez
- Luba Mushtuk
- Giovanni Pernice
- Jowita Przystal
- Johannes Radebe
- Kai Widdrington
- Nancy Xu
- Carlos Gu
- Lauren Oakley
- Michelle Tsiakkas
- Vito Coppola
Who are Strictly Come Dancing’s judges?
The Strictly Come Dancing judges will also remain the same as previous years.
Shirley Ballas will return as Head Judge and will have the deciding vote when the judges rulings are tied.
Joining her on the panel includes longtime Strictly judge (and a harsh critic at that) Craig Revel Horwood, as well as Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke.
Who will be hosting It Takes Two?
Though the Strictly Come Dancing judges and dance professionals remain the same, over on the spin-off show It Takes Two there has been a shake-up.
Fleur East will be co-presenting the show alongside former Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Janette Manrara.
Claudia Winkleman previously hosted the segment, which Zoe Ball took over in 2011, and joined by Rylan Clark.
Where to watch Strictly Come Dancing?
While it is unknown exactly when Strictly Come Dancing will return to our small screens, we do know it typically airs every Saturday evening circa 7pm on BBC One.