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Here’s your first official look at the Strictly Come Dancing 2020 line up of contestants.
Strictly Come Dancing waltzes back onto BBC One for its 18th series next Saturday night, October 17.
Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman are rolling out the red carpet to welcome the star-studded celebrity class of 2020 as they begin their Strictly adventure in Strictly Come Dancing: The Launch.
The 12 celebrity contestants will make their grand entrance into the famous Strictly ballroom and discover which professional dancer they will be paired with. Once the pairings have been announced the celebrities and professionals will take to the dancefloor for the very first time for a spectacular group performance.
For now, meet the Strictly Come Dancing line up below…
Jamie is a reality TV personality.
Returning after injury ruled him out last year, Jamie says: “Everyone has been super supportive, my mum is over the moon and she’s so excited. It’s been a pretty crazy year for everyone so hopefully it’s going to be the most epic kind of escape for everyone. But I think pretty much everyone that I know is really excited about it!”
Nicola is a gold-medal winning Olympic boxer.
She says: “I wanted a new challenge, something different to do. I’m always challenging myself all the time. So it was a good step in the right direction. I’m not the best dancer so I wanted to see how I will do.”
Dancing with a female professional, Nicola adds: “It means a lot to me. I think it’s a brilliant step in the right direction especially on the diversity side of things. And women actually dance with women all the time in the professional circuit so I guess it’s just showing people that it can be done.”
HRVY is a singer and TV presenter.
He says: “There are loads of different reasons why I wanted to do it. I love the challenge, I love dancing, – I would say I can move my hips a bit! I just love the idea of the challenge and I’m so competitive.
“I really want to win it. Obviously it’s the taking part that counts but I think everyone wants to go for gold! I’m going to put my heart into it and that’s why I want to win it.”
Clara is a radio DJ on BBC Radio 1.
She explains her decision to sign up: “I just think it’s just unadulterated joy that everyone loves. I want to just surrender myself into it. It’s an absolute fantasy world. I just want to be able to just throw myself in and literally pretend to be a dancer and then hopefully learn to be one in the process.”
Max is a singer and actor.
He says: “As this year has been a terrible one for a lot of people, I wanted to do something that would be fun and hopefully put a smile on people’s faces on a Saturday night. I know its going to be a massive challenge for me because I’m not a dancer and its something that I never really thought I’d do. Now I’m actually doing it, I’m just really excited.
“I can’t wait to meet my dance partner.”
Maisie is a soap actress.
She says of signing up: “It’s been unbelievable actually! It’s one of those things that you always wanted to do but you don’t expect it to actually happen. So in my house there was a lot of shock.
“I hadn’t told a great deal of people because I had to keep it so private so I could only tell a couple of my friends. We had been so excited holding it in so after the official announcement every single person was so excited for me. It’s been a really happy vibe.”
Bill is a comedian and musician.
He says of signing up: I’ve always been interested in dancing, I’ve always loved dance. When I was a kid, my mum was very keen for me to learn to dance. There was a dance academy across the road from my house. I went and had some lessons. As I was young I didn’t pursue it and I’ve always regretted that because it’s a lovely thing to do.
“Whenever there’s a situation that requires a formal dance, I was quite envious of everyone that can waltz around the floor with great aplomb. So hopefully that will be my take home from the whole show, a skill I’ll have for life.”
Jason is a former American Footballer turned pundit.
Says Jason: “I wanted to take part because it made me nervous. At some point, I’ve always challenged myself – sports has forced that – but when I retired and went off and did other ventures, everything I was scared of, I took that challenge on and I’ve learned something from it. I’ve learned about myself and how I operate.”
Ranvir is a presenter and journalist who regular appears on Good Morning Britain
Ranvir says: “It’s a real privilege to be asked to be on it. It’s a real milestone, it’s a career high – it’s everything isn’t it? Strictly is about actually learning a skill. I haven’t learned anything from scratch for years.
“I just have my head down and worked really hard and now all of a sudden, there’s this beautiful chance to learn something completely different from scratch. I hope my brain works, my body works and I’m up for a challenge. ”
Caroline is a stage and screen actress.
She says of signing up: “It’s definitely something to do with the times we’re living in. I was about to do a play at the National Theatre which was cut short as we all went into lockdown, so I was reeling a bit from that. Then Strictly came, and I thought, this might be something just delightfully fun.
“It’s pretty bleak out there for people at the moment and I wanted to do something for myself that was joyful, but also for all of us, my family and friends and, God Almighty people love it. It was definitely the right choice.”
JJ is a TV host & Invictus Games medallist.
He says: “I live to put myself outside my comfort zone and to make sure that I’m always trying to become the best version of myself that I possibly can. The types of opportunities and things which I’ve had in the past, learning to scuba dive or going to Afghanistan, for example, they have been pretty extreme.
“But actually, they were inside my comfort zone because they were the kind of things I would do with ease. This is completely new and I plan on bringing the exact same mind set – giving it my absolute everything.”
Jacqui is a Labour politician and former Home Secretary.
Asked why she signed up, Jacqui says: “The opportunity to have a new adventure at my age, to learn something completely new from the best teachers and dancers in the country is something that just seemed like a fantastic opportunity.”
Meanwhile, the Strictly Come Dancing 2020 pros have been revealed.
This year’s women on the Strictly pro cast are Amy Dowden, Dianne Buswell, Janette Manrara, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova, Nancy Xu and Oti Mabuse.
The male pros joining them are are Aljaž Škorjanec, Anton Du Beke, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe, and Neil Jones.
As for the judges, Motsi Mabuse returns for her second year alongside head judge Shirley Ballas & Craig Revel Horwood. Due to current restrictions, Bruno Tonioli will contribute remotely to the weekly results show.
Following the launch show on October 17, the Strictly live episodes will begin the very next weekend on October 24.