SAY goodbye to your Saturday nights as Strictly Come Dancing is back.

Hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, 15 brand new celebrities are now paired with their professional partners.

Which contestants and pro dancers are paired up?

Adam Peaty and Katya Jones

Adam is a swimmer who won two gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics.

Speaking to BBC Radio 1, the British sportsman admitted that he's "bad at dancing" but "is a quick learner" so could surprise fans as he swaps the swimming pool for the salsa.

Adam added in a statement: "I think this will come as a surprise to a lot of people, but I’m so excited to finally share the news that I’ll be joining Strictly this year.

"I’m really looking forward to doing something totally different and challenging myself away from the pool.

"I’m hoping my competitive nature is going to compensate for my dancing abilities!"

He is partnered with Katya Jones who is a Russian dancer and choreographer.

She who won the show back in 2017 with Joe McFadden.

AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington

Presenter AJ Odudu says it's a "dream come true" to be joining the family-favourite show after almost quitting TV for good.

AJ said: “I am beyond chuffed that I am going to be on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing and I'm so glad I can finally tell my mum. Her face will be a picture, she’s going to be over the moon!

"I absolutely love the show and am fully committed to making the most of every second of the Strictly experience. Bring it on!”

AJ is partnered with English dancer and choreographer Kai Widdrington who is new to the series.

In 2012, he reached the final of the sixth series of Britain's Got Talent.

🔵 Read our Strictly Come Dancing live blog for the latest updates…

Dan Walker and Nadiya Bychkova

BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker is getting ready to put his best foot forward.

He said: “I am definitely excited, a little bit worried, mostly terrified and a small part of me is considering going into hiding!

"My kids have only ever asked me to go on two shows… Saturday Mash Up and Strictly. I did Saturday Mash Up this summer so… it’s time to embrace the sequins.”

Dan will be dancing with Ukrainian-Slovenian ballroom and Latin American dancer Nadiya Bychkova who joined the show in 2017.

She is a multiple-time Slovenian ballroom and Latin champion and two-time World and European Champion

Greg Wise and Karen Hauer

The Crown actor Greg Wise has admitted his famous wife Emma Thompson, is "stupidly excited" to watch him.

The 55-year-old star, who played Lord Louis Mountbatten in the hit Netflix show, has also starred in Sense & Sensibility, Effie Gray, and Walking On Sunshine.

But he emotionally revealed he's taking on this new challenge in memory of his late sister.

He said: "My beautiful sister was a huge disco queen.

"She left our world almost exactly five years ago in a glitter ball coffin. This is for her.

"My gorgeous Diva sis, who would have been insane with excitement that her little bro was doing this.

"I will channel her, as her bro can’t dance – but I’m thrilled to be dipping my toes, knees, hips and arms into this wonderful world, and hope to make her proud, and obviously make her laugh…”

Greg is paired with Strictly veteran Karen Hauer.

The professional has made it to the final of the show twice.

John Whaite and Johannes Radebe

Bake Off winner John Whaite broke down in tears after announcing he'll dance in Strictly's first all-male partnership.

John said: "There will be kids watching thinking it’s OK to be who you are."

It comes after the BBC show's first female pairing Katya Jones and Nicola Adams went down a storm with viewers in 2020.

The English baker rose to fame after winning The Great British Bake Off's third series in 2012. 

He works as a chef, television presenter and author, but believes he “was born to be on that dance floor”.

John is part of Strictly's first male-same sex couple.

He will be dancing with Strictly pro Johannes Radebe who is a South African dancer and choreographer.

Judi Love and Graziano Di Prima

Judi is best known for voicing her views on Loose Women, but now is going to let her feet do the talking.

The daytime TV star and comedian – who previously took part in Celebrity MasterChef – is stepping up to the dance floor this autumn.

Judi said she was overwhelmed when Strictly bosses reached out to her and she snapped up the chance.

She said: “I think I am still in shock that I will be part of this amazing show."

Graziano Di Prima is Judi's pro partner after not having a celebrity in 2020.

He joined the professional line-up in 2018, and was partnered with DJ Vick Hope.

Katie McGlynn and Gorka Marquez

Coronation Street star Katie McGlynn insists she has no expectations – other than hoping she doesn't fall over mid-dance.

The soap actress – currently starring in Hollyoaks – first shot to fame in BBC drama Waterloo Road, which she appeared in until 2013 when she joined Corrie as Sinead Tinker.

She had a tragic end to the ITV soap, with her character being killed off after a devastating cancer storyline in 2019.

Katie will be forced to come face to face with her ex-boyfriend – professional dancer Giovanni Pernice who she was linked to back in 2017 – shortly after he split from her co-star Georgia May Foote.

The soap star is partnered with veteran dancer Gorka Marquez.

He is a dancer and choreographer who hails from Spain.

Nina Wadia and Neil Jones

EastEnders star Nina Wadia was inspired by the Covid pandemic to sign up – despite being absolutely terrified.

The actress, who played Zainab Masood, said she prefers to "dance like no one's watching", joking: "So we just have to blindfold the judges and I can win."

The 52-year-old believes it's her last chance to wear heels before she is too old and wants to "grab life by the balls and do it".

Katya's ex husband Neil Jones is also back on the show, having only been paired with a celeb – Alex Scott – once before.

He has represented Finland, the Netherlands and the UK during the course of his competitive career.

Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu

CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson will be quick-stepping on to our screens this series hoping to impress – just like his fellow children’s TV host Karim Zheroual, who was a finalist in 2019.

Rhys started his presenting career in 2013 on his university’s television channel, Smoke TV, and in the same year he went on to perform alongside Matt Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes after joining the National Youth Theatre. 

Rhys said: “I am BUZZING to be a part of Strictly Come Dancing 2021.

"I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation.

"I cannot wait to experience it all: the costumes, the orchestra, even Craig’s glare! I am READY!”

A specialist in Latin, Rhys' partner Nancy Xu was a finalist in the U21 World Championships in 2010, but this is teh first time she has had a celeb partner on the show.

She also took third place in the 2010-2012 CBDF National Amateur Latin Championships and was a runner up at the 2013 International Singapore Championship.

Robert Webb and Dianne Buswell

Peep Show favourite Robert is an award-winning actor, comedian and author.

Robert told The One Show: “I am ludicrously excited to be taking part in Strictly this year.

"It’s a big, generous, joyful show and I can’t wait to get packed into a spandex onesie and fired from a glitter cannon directly at Claudia Winkleman. At least I think that’s what happens."

He is partnered with Aussie dancer Dianne Buswell.

The red-headed star is a fan favourite and won the heart of her Strictly partner Joe Sugg in 2018.

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice

EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis is Strictly's first ever deaf contestant.

She wants to shatter all the stereotypes of people with no hearing by taking home the glitterball.

And the 26-year-old is no stranger to making history since playing Frankie Lewis, who is also the soap’s first deaf character.

Setting her sights on winning the series, Rose said: “To be the first deaf contestant on Strictly Come Dancing is sooooo exciting.. and a little bit scary."

Rose is in good hands with Strictly pro Giovanni Pernice.

He is an Italian Open Latin Dance Champion, and the Guinness World Record holder for jive kicks and flicks, as well as Charleston swivels

Sara Davies and Aljaž Škorjanec

Dragons' Den star Sara Davies is hoping she'll end her Strictly stint with dance skills as good as she thinks they are when she's had a drink.

The businesswoman, 37, says being on Strictly "felt like a pipe dream" after watching the show since the first series.

She's also looking forward to working off her "mum tum" after hours of hard graft in training.

Other than doing ballet as a little girl, Sara is a novice – and keen to take on a whole new challenge with her entrepreneurial spirit.

And she's in good hands with Aljaž Škorjanec, who has been on the show since 2013 and won on his debut with Abbey Clancy.

Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay's daughter is hoping to become a star in her own right after getting the chance to star on Strictly.

Tilly – who was ruled out of the 2020 series when she broke her arm – has been given a second opportunity this year.

But she's got to concentrate on dancing instead of off-screen romances, with dad Gordon warning: "Don't date those dancers!"

Tilly has worked with Gordon on This Morning for a regular segment called Big Chef, Little Chef.

Tilly is not the only newbie on the show – so is her partner Nikita Kuzmin.

Nikita, 23, was announced as a new professional in July 2021.

Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden

McFly singer Tom Fletcher is renowned for being a talented singer and songwriter – but do his dance skills match up?

The 36-year-old joked he's more excited than he looks in his announcement photograph as he prepares to take on the famous ballroom.

For Tom, triumph on Strictly would cement him and wife Giovanna as the kings and queens of reality TV after her victory on I'm A Celeb.

Tom will be hoping that pro partner Amy Dowden can help him bag the glitterball.

Amy has never won the trophy but was runner-up with Karim Zeroual in series 17.

Ugo Monye and Oti Mabuse

Rugby Union star Ugo Monye is going to tackle his latest challenge by trying to get his hands on the glitterball after being signed up for this year’s Strictly.

Quickstepping ex-England winger Ugo, 38, will tackle the tango, the waltz and the foxtrot when the hit BBC show returns in the autumn.

The sportsman's career is on the up as he was unveiled as a new Question Of Sport captain in July 2021 opposite hockey star Sam Quek.

His dance partner Oti Mabuse is looking for a hat-trick of wins after triumphing with Kelvin Fletcher in 2019 and Bill Bailey in 2020.

Oti joined the show in 2015 and has partnered Anthony Ogogo, Danny Mac, Jonnie Peacock and Graeme Swann.

When is Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One?

Strictly Come Dancing launches TOMORROW (September 18, 2021).

You can catch the action from 7.45pm on BBC One.

The live shows then kick off the following week at 7pm.


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