Strictly Come Dancing 2018 cast and judges hit the red carpet for launch show

strictly come dancing 2018 red carpet - 6

The Strictly Come Dancing 2018 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.

Joining them for her second series was Strictly's head judge Shirley Ballas, who first joined the show last year.

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

Those on the Strictly 2018 line up this year include author, inspirational speaker, TV presenter and charity campaigner Katie Piper, Capital Radio DJ and TV presenter Vick Hope, Steps star Faye Tozer and the first ever YouTube vlogger to take to the Strictly ballroom, Joe Sugg.

Joe Sugg
Joe Sugg
Dr Ranj and Kate Silverton
Dr Ranj and Kate Silverton

More confirmed names for the Strictly Come Dancing 2018 line up are England cricketer Graeme Swann, Red Dwarf actor Danny John-Jules and Dr Ranj Singh, TV Doctor on This Morning.

Also announced are BBC Three documentary maker Stacey Dooley, Pussycat Dolls singer Ashley Roberts, BBC News journalist Kate Silverton and comic Seann Walsh.

They're joined by Blue singer turned EastEnders actor Lee Ryan and Paratriathlete Lauren Steadman.

Television presenter and fashion journalist Susannah Constantine and Casualty actor Charles Venn complete the line up.

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.

The Strictly Come Dancing 2018 pros were announced earlier this year, with a big shake up.

The BBC confirmed three new professionals for 2018: They are Italian Latin Champion Graziano Di Prima, Professional South African Latin Champion Johannes Radebe and four-time winner of the Italian Dance Championship Luba Mushtuk.

They will join returning Strictly male professionals AJ Pritchard, Aljaž Škorjanec, Anton Du Beke, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Kevin Clifton, Neil Jones and Pasha Kovalev.

Plus the returning female dancers, Amy Dowden, Dianne Buswell, Janette Manrara, Karen Clifton, Katya Jones, Nadiya Bychkova, and Oti Mabuse.

But we have lost two Strictly pros: Brendan Cole, a series original, and Chloe Hewitt, who joined in 2016, will both be leaving the show.

Strictly Come Dancing boss Louise Rainbow said of the shake up: “This is the biggest line-up of pros that we’ve ever had on Strictly. We are so lucky to have such an array of talent. A huge thank you goes to Brendan from all of us for 15 amazing series of Strictly.

Lauren Steadman and Katie Piper
Lauren Steadman and Katie Piper

"We wish him all the very best with his future projects. We would also like to thank Chloe and wish her well.”

The opening episode airs on Saturday night, September 8 and 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.

The live shows are expected to start on Saturday, September 22.

PICS: BBCStrictly/Twitter

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