It’s almost that time of year again – Strictly Come Dancing 2017 is on its way!
So many amazing stars have already been confirmed, and with new dancers and a new head judge on board, the 15th season might just the best yet!
Here’s everything we know about Strictly Come Dancing 2017 so far… who’s excited!?
The Strictly stars: Who’s joining the show?
Former X factor winner Alexandra Burke was the 15th and final contestant to join the cast of Strictly Come Dancing 2017 – and what a name to finish on!
The singer said: ‘I love this show and have followed it from the beginning, so being able to be a part of it is just a dream come true for me,’ she said. ‘I am very nervous as I am a singer not a dancer, but I am going to give this my absolute everything.’
Paralympian Jonnie Peacock, 24, couldn’t contain his excitement as he was confirmed as penultimate contestant number 14.
‘The opportunity to be the first contestant with a disability to take part in Strictly’s main show was too good to turn down,’ the sprinter exclaimed. ‘I’ve got no previous dance history outside of the occasional ‘worm’ at a mate’s party and I know this will be a challenge and a new experience. I can’t wait to see what I can achieve and how far I can push myself.’
Rumours of her participation had circulated for a while, but Debbie McGee was announced right towards the end of the listings as the 13th contestant. Debbie, who was married to Paul Daniels, is best known for being his assistant and part of his magic shows.
‘The excitement is overwhelming,’ she said. ‘I can’t stop smiling. It’s been the hardest secret I have ever had to keep!’
Holby City actress Chizzy was the 12th member of the cast for Strictly Come Dancing 2017.
Chizzy’s participation was confirmed on Twitter, and a statement released by the star which read: ‘When I was 13, I made the finals of a disco dancing competition once but there was this amazing girl who exploded onto the stage with a gorgeous sequinned costume, throwing glitter everywhere… I knew it was game over for me. That was then, this is now and this is my chance to have even more sequins!’
TV presenter Charlotte was revealed as the 11th member of the Strictly Come Dancing 2017 line-up live on Good Morning Britain.
‘I’ve always been a big fan of the show,’ the mum-of-one exclaimed. ‘It is a dream come true to be taking part and I’ll be following in the footsteps of my Good Morning Britain colleagues. I’m looking forward to stepping out from behind the news desk to cha-cha-cha my way across the dancefloor!’
Brian’s role as contestant ten was confirmed on BBC Radio 2 on the Steve Wright show, where he said: ‘I’m delighted and honoured to be asked to strut my stuff on this year’s Strictly.’
‘My family all love the show and can’t wait to see me do my Dad dancing on national television. I know it’s going to be a lot of hard work but I’m up for the challenge, so bring on the spray tan and sequins.’
Funny woman and ninth contestant Susan may not have ‘danced with a man for over a decade’, but she still sounds up for the challenge!
‘Being on Strictly is a dream come true,’ the comedienne said in her official statement. ‘Finally I can reveal all the moves I’ve been practising in my kitchen to the nation.’
‘I am an enthusiastic home dancer and now on Saturday nights I’ll be dancing in other people’s homes in a (hopefully) entertaining way. I am terrified but excited to start my Strictly journey.’
As a former member of X Factor boyband JLS, Aston’s no stranger to throwing shapes – but he’ll be learning a totally different type of dance as he takes to the Strictly stage as contestant number eight.
‘I’m so happy to be joining Strictly 2017, it is such a brilliant show and I’ve followed it for years,’ he admitted. ‘I’m both nervous and excited to learn from the professionals about a whole new way of dancing!’
The Sunday Brunch presenter was confirmed to be swapping the kitchen for the dance floor come Autumn as the seventh big reveal.
As well as keeping us company every Sunday morning, the TV chef recently featured in his own cooking show, Eat the week with Iceland.
Opening up about his new challenge, Simon said: ‘I am so excited, terrified and proud to be invited to be part of Strictly 2017. I’ve always been a HUUUUGE fan of the show.
‘When I put on my sequins and hit the floor it will genuinely be my very first time dancing ballroom and latin. Nobody will try harder, have more fun or get more out of it than me. I can’t wait.’
The Holby City actor, who plays Raffaello ‘Raf’ di Lucca in the BBC One medical drama, was the sixth person to be revealed in the Strictly 2017 line-up.
Known for his roles in Heartbeat, Take the High Road, The Crow Road and Sex, Chips & Rock ‘n’ Roll, the Scottish actor also has a background in theatre so we have a feeling he might have a few tricks up his sequin sleeves…
Speaking about joining Strictly 2017, Joe revealed he’s excited but also ‘terrified’ of his new challenge.
‘Strictly is one of the biggest, most entertaining shows on TV and being asked to be part of it is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I’m thrilled and terrified about in equal measures!’, he said.
Reverend Richard Coles
Contestant number five was something of a wildcard, as writer and broadcaster Reverand Richard Coles was announced.
‘Cometh the hour, cometh the overweight Vicar with arthritis in his knees,’ Richard joked of his role in the competition.
You may recognise actress Gemma from her role in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, where she played Lisa Hunter.
‘I am honoured to be asked and so thrilled to be joining Strictly Come Dancing 2017!’ she said as her participation as fourth contestant was announced. ‘I’m beyond excited and incredibly nervous but I am looking forward to learning a new skill in ballroom and latin dancing and taking on this new challenge.’
Yes, Loose Women and This Morning regular Ruth will be taking to the dance floor, as the third contestant confirmed this year!
‘I have dreamt about doing Strictly for so long, I can’t quite believe my dream has come true!’ she exclaimed.
‘The sum of my dance experience is throwing a few shapes at a party, I’ve never had a dance lesson in my life. Without doubt it will be the scariest yet most exciting thing I’ve ever done. It’ll be a welcome change worrying about my next hot move instead of my next hot flush!’
EastEnders star Davood was the second member of the Strictly line-up this year.
The actor, who plays Kush Kazemi in the BBC soap, said of his appearance on the show: ‘Having the opportunity to take part in this year’s Strictly is such an honour.’
‘It’s going to be exciting, challenging and terrifying all at once and I am so looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone and learning to dance. See you under the Glitterball!’
The Saturdays blonde bombshell was the first star confirmed to be joining Strictly 2017.
Speaking about joining the show, the singer told BBC Radio 1 Nick Grimshaw: ‘I’m a huge fan of Strictly Come Dancing so I can’t actually believe I’m lucky enough to be taking part in it this year!
‘I’m literally so excited to learn Latin and ballroom dancing, and of course I can’t wait to get into the sequins too! It’s going to be a lot of hard work but I’m ready for the challenge.’
Mollie’s bandmate Frankie Bridge made it to the final of the show three years ago, so we think she might have a shot at winning the coveted trophy!
The Strictly dancers: Who’s replacing Joanne, Oksana and Natalie?
The BBC have revealed the names of the three professionals who will be joining the cast in 2017 – and they’ve got some serious credentials in the dance world!
Image: BBC/Ana Gregoric Two-time world ballroom champion Nadiya hails from Ukraine, and has already taken part in the Bosnian version of Strictly.
‘I’m extremely happy to be joining the Strictly Come Dancing family this year,’ she said of her appointment. ‘One of my biggest dreams is to be part of this great show and I can’t wait to get started.’
Image: BBC/Darren Skene Aussie Dianne is an Australian Open Champion and four-time Amateur Australian Open Finalist, who has also appeared on Broadway and on Dancing the Stars in her home country.
She called her role in Strictly an ‘honour’, adding: ‘Words can’t describe how excited I am to take on this amazing challenge and give it my everything.’
Image: BBC/Jeremy Phillips Welsh dancer Amy is the current British National Champion, and says that joining the team has made her ‘wildest dreams’ come true.
‘It does not feel real!’ she exclaimed. ‘I have always been proud of my Welsh roots and feel so honoured to be the first Welsh professional dancer on the most loved show on TV.’
The three women will replace former cast members Joanne Clifton, Oksana Platero and Natalie Lowe, who will not be returning for this series.
The Strictly judges
Following the departure of head judge Len Goodman, British ballroom dancer Shirley Ballas has been confirmed as his replacement on Strictly Come Dancing 2017.
‘I am so excited and over the moon to have been given this wonderful opportunity,’ Shirley exclaimed in a statement shortly after the announcement was made.
‘I can’t wait to get in to the ballroom and be part of the incredible and respected judging panel. Strictly is so loved by the British public, I have always been a massive fan. I just can’t wait!’
Shirley replaced Len Goodman as head judge on the team, after he revealed that he would be leaving the show last year
Shirley retired from competitive dancing in 1996, but certainly knows her stuff, as she’s one of the most respected professional dancers in the world, particularly when it comes to Latin numbers.
Fellow judge Darcey Bussell said of her appointment: ‘I look forward to meeting Shirley and welcoming her to our Strictly team. Her years of experience in Ballroom and Latin dancing are impressive and I’m sure she will be a great addition to our judging panel.’
Image: BBC/Steve Schofield
Shirley is known as the ‘Queen of Latin’ in dance circles
Craig Revel Horwood, meanwhile, said that Shirley’s new role was ‘fantastic news’, adding that he ‘looked forward’ to working with her on the new series.
Bruno Tonioli agreed that Shirley was ‘an incredible Latin dancer and trainer’. ‘I am sure she will be a great addition to the Strictly team,’ he said.
When does Strictly Come Dancing 2017 start?
The hit BBC show, which will premiere its 15th season, doesn’t have a confirmed premiere date yet but usually airs sometime in September.
Who would you like to see in this year’s Strictly? Let us know in the comments below