Strictly Come Dancing 2021: Start date, line-up and new look judging panel
The launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2021 is now just over a week away, with excitement for the new series rapidly reaching fever pitch.
The series will be the 19th for the BBC dancing contest – and you've not got long to wait until the battle for the Glitterball Trophy truly begins.
Last year we saw comedian Bill Bailey become the oldest ever winner of Strictly, beating the likes of hot favourites HRVY and Eastender's actress Maisie Smith.
The list of 15 eager celebrities has finally been revealed, and we can't wait to see them perform week after week.
When does Strictly Come Dancing 2021 start?
Fans will be delighted to know they can put Saturday September 18 in their diary for the start date, with the live shows beginning exactly a week later.
BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker, who will be starring in this year’s show, accidentally revealed the date of the launch programme live on air.
Dan and his fellow celebs are already in training before teaming up with their chosen professional dancer before competing to win the coveted Strictly crown.
Who is in the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 line-up?
A full list of 15 celebrities ready to show what they can has been released, with EastEnders star Nina Wadia and actress Rose Ayling-Ellis – the first deaf contestant in Strictly history – among those set to star in the show.
Former Harlequins Rugby Union player Ugo Monye also features on the eclectic line-up, as well as Gordon Ramsay’s TV star daughter Tilly and actor Greg Wise, the husband of Hollywood star Emma Thompson.
Completing the line-up is musician Tom Fletcher.
The McFly hitmaker and author was the first celebrity to be announced for this year’s line-up, which will also include four new professional dancers.
Kai Widdrington, from the Irish version of Dancing With The Stars, South African Latin champion Cameron Lombard, The Greatest Dancer winner Jowita Przystal and former Let’s Dance Germany professional Nikita Kuzmin will all be making their debuts to freshen things up.
Who are the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 judges?
However, the famous Blackpool episode won’t be going ahead with producers “sad” they’ve had to cut that element of the show because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Executive Producer Sarah James told The Mirror : "We're so thrilled that Strictly will be returning for a full-length series this year, and know how much viewers are looking forward to getting their full Strictly fix and seeing the return of much-loved specials.
"We are all so sad that we won't be able to get to Blackpool this year but can’t wait to be back dancing at the one and only Blackpool Tower Ballroom in the future."
Can I sit in the Strictly audience?
Studio audience tickets have been released by the BBC, but only in household and family bubbles as TV bosses to look to try and limit the possible impact of Covid-19 disrupting the popular programme.
The have requested this year’s contestants keep their socialising to a minimum and avoid partying during rehearsals to prevent them catching coronavirus.
And a source revealed: “Producers are obviously worried about a repeat.
“They know with restrictions not as harsh as they were last year, it means events are back and the Strictly contestants are always top of everybody’s invite lists.
“But this year, they’re hoping the celebrities and pros will be sensible and put Strictly first for the sake of everyone.
“It isn’t a blanket ban on them doing anything but the show, but they’ve been asked to restrict their diaries to keep the show on the road."
Strictly Come Dancing returns on BBC One on Saturday 18th September