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Strictly Come Dancing 2017 cast and judges hit the red carpet for launch show

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The Strictly Come Dancing 2017 contestants were on the red carpet last night as they recorded this year's launch show.

A total of fifteen celebs have signed up for the new series and they were joined by hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly as well as returning judges Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood at the launch.

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Joining them for the first time was brand new Strictly head judge Shirley Ballas who takes over from Len Goodman.

The stars were at Elstree Studios in North London together with this year's professional dancers to record next Saturday's opening episode.

Those on the Strictly 2017 line up this year include The Saturdays' singer Mollie King, EastEnders actor Davood Ghadami and host of ITV's This Morning and regular Loose Women panellist Ruth Langsford.

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Reverend Richard Coles and soap actress Gemma Atkinson join them on the confirmed cast of Strictly this year.

Also on the official line up for 2017 are TV chef and presenter Simon Rimmer, Holby City actor Joe McFadden, BBC Radio 4 comic Susan Calman and JLS singer Aston Merrygold.

More celebs are comic Brian Conley, Good Morning Britain presenter Charlotte Hawkins and Holby City actress Chizzy Akudolu.

Rounding off the starting line up are X Factor winner turned West End star Alexandra Burke, Paralympian Jonnie Peacock, and Debbie McGee, TV personality, presenter and the widow of magician Paul Daniels.

The launch will see the all star cast paired up with their pro for the series before they hit the training room for three weeks of intensive rehearsals ahead of the first live show at the end of next month.

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The opening episode next Saturday night - September 9 - will also see introductions to all the celebs on the line up, a group dance from the professionals and the first dance from the stars themselves.

charlotte, debbie and aston

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Plus, there will be a special tribute to the late Sir Bruce Forsyth who sadly passed away earlier this month.

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The live shows are expected to start on Saturday, September 23.

PICS: BBCStrictly/Twitter