SEVEEENN! Strictly Come Dancing is back for its latest season with a star-studded lineup, as well as some changes to the professionals and judges. But when will it air? Who will be on it? And most importantly, will it be fab-u-lous?! Find out all below:
When does Strictly Come Dancing start?
Strictly Come Dancing will be starting on Saturday, September 21, and will probably last for 13 weeks. As of yet it's not going head-to-head with X Factor as per usual, but that's not surprising considering that Strictly typically beats it in the ratings.
Who are the contestants?
This year we have a real mixed bag of contestants from all kinds of backgrounds. The launch show (which aired on September 7) revealed which professionals and celebs were paired together.
The 15 Strictly couples are set to be:
- Broadcaster Anneka Rice and Kevin Clifton
- Olympic rower James Cracknell and Luba Mushtuk
- Radio 1 DJ Dev Griffin and Dianne Buswell
- Former Arsenal and England footballer Alex Scott and Neil Jones
- RuPaul's Drag race judge Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice
- Table tennis Paralympic champion Will Bayley and Janette Manrara
- Businesswomen, chef and model Emma Thynn, Viscountess Weymouth and Aljaz Skorjanec
- CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden
- BBC sports news presenter Mike Bushell and Katya Jones
- Former Coronation Street actress Catherine Tyldesley and Johannes Radebe
- Social media star Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard
- EastEnders actress Emma Barton and Anton Du Beke
- Former England goalkeeper David James and Nadiya Bychkova
- Comedian Chris Ramsey and Karen Hauer
- Former Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse
Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing was supposed to be taking part in the show with Oti Mabuse, but sustained an injury in the launch show. He has been replaced by Kelvin Fletcher.
Who are the judges?
Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Shirley Ballas will be returning to the panel, however there's one crucial difference to the lineup. Earlier this year, Dame Darcy Bussell announced that she would be stepping down from her duties. The ballerina will be replaced by South African dancer Motsi Mabuse, sister of one of the pros, Oti. Mabuse has also previously acted as a judge on the German equivalent of Strictly, Let's Dance.
Which professionals are returning?
As far as we know, all but one professional dancer are set to return to the ballroom. Former champion Pasha Kovalev announced he was leaving the show after eight years to focus on pasturers new. He and his girlfriend Rachel Riley - star of Countdown - are expecting a baby this year.
His departure does however make way for some new professionals. Both Neil Jones and Johannes Radebe have moved into the main line-up of dancers, after being apart of the professional troupe. Nancy Xu will also become the show's first ever Chinese dancer, joining the other pros in their group numbers. However, she won't have a celebrity partner this year. Gorka Marquez will also be back on the show, but again won't be paired with any celebrity.
Otherwise, you can expect to see all the usual favourites. Kevin Clifton, Janette Manrara and of course the Strictly veteran himself, Anton du Beke (and who knows? He might actually have a chance this year).
Our predictions for Strictly Come Dancing 2019
Though no formal announcements have been made about the structure of the latest series, we're almost guaranteed to see a return of the Halloween, Movies and Musicals episodes, as well as the new 'couples choice' category, which allowed each pairing to choose one style to dance out of contemporary, jazz and street.
We also believe that we'll see another competitive group dance later on in the series. Last year, the couples took part in a Lindy Hop-a-thon. But what style will it be this year? Previously the show has had Swing, Waltz, Paso Doble and Quickstep. So perhaps something latin-based is due, like Salsa or Cha Cha Chaaarr? Only time will tell.
Former footballer Alex Scott is currently tipped as one of the favourites to lift the glitter ball trophy after winning the Strictly Comic Relief special last year with Pasha Kovalev. However, the bookies odds aren't always right, as many dancers improve throughout the show and underdogs often end up reaching the top.
What other Strictly shows will be on?
If you can't just wait until every Saturday night to get your fix of steps and sequins, then Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two will be returning on September 23, airing every weekday evening on BBC One at 5:15pm for two weeks, before returning to it's usual slot of weekdays at 6:30pm on BBC Two. This show features interviews with contestants and judges, as well as training room footage and more. Zoe Ball will be returning as the host, but this year she will be joined by a new co-presenter, TV personality Rylan Clark-Neal.
We'll also be seeing the return of the official Strictly podcast, Strictly Confidential, which debuted last year. Hosted by last year's finalist Joe Sugg and Strictly producer Kim Winston, we'll get to see some real behind-the-scenes action from the stars of the show and learn more about the crew behind the glitz and glamour. It's a must for any Strictly fanatic. You can listen to it over on BBC sounds.
How to watch outside of the UK
As always, Strictly Come Dancing will be shown on BBC One, with pre-recorded shows to begin with followed by live shows as the competition heats up. You can watch on your TV as the episodes air, or on BBC iPlayer on most internet-connected devices, whether that’s a laptop, tablet or phone, or perhaps a media streamer or games console.
You'll also be able to watch it on BBC iPlayer if you missed the episode and want to catch up.If you’re holidaying outside of the UK, there are ways to watch BBC iPlayer abroad such as using a VPN (virtual private network) like NordVPN. Find out more about how to do that here.