STRICTLY Come Dancing’s Greg Wise was paired with Karen Hauer as the new celebrity contestants and their professional partners were revealed during a glittering launch show last night.
Greg, who is married to screen legend Emma Thompson, had fans in hysterics with his Reggae-robot dance during the evening.
And Dan Walker sung the praises of his pro partner Nadiya Bychkova -who ptiently waited hours for him as he attended A&E following a head injury.
The BBC news presenter said: “I hope you all get to know Nadiya a bit too. She’s really funny and such a great teacher. We’ve had a real giggle already and the partnership was cemented when she waited for hours for me in A & E the other day.”
Also competing is EastEnders actress Nina Wadia, TV presenter AJ Odudu, Dragons’ Den investor Sara Davies, McFly star Tom Fletcher, Coronation Street actress Katie McGlynn, TV presenter Tilly Ramsay, comedian Robert Webb, CBBC host Rhys Stephenson and actor Greg Wise.
Follow our Strictly Come Dancing live blog for all the latest updates…
STRICTLY COME DANCING PAIRINGS CONFIRMED DURING SERIES LAUNCH
Great British Bake Off star John Whaite has been paired with Johannes Radebe as part of the first all-male couple on Strictly Come Dancing.
Saturday night’s series launch saw the 15 celebrity contestants discover which of the professional partners they will be training and performing with during their time on the BBC One show.
Whaite, who won Bake Off in 2012, said he was expecting “a little bit of hate, a bit of trolling” – but had received nothing since the announcement.
“It really is a privilege and an honour to be in this position because I think if I had seen two lads or lasses in this position when I was a little lad, life would have been that little bit easier,” he said.
Three-time Olympic champion Adam Peaty, who specialises in breaststroke, was paired with Katya Jones, meeting her for the first time at the London Aquatics Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Russian dancer Jones was paired last year with Olympic gold medallist boxer Nicola Adams in the show’s first female same-sex couple.
JUDI AND SARA BACKED FOR FIRST STRICTLY ELIMINATION
JUDI LOVE AND SARA DAVIES are the front runners to be axed first from Strictly Come Dancing with Ladbrokes.
Comedian Judi leads the betting as the 7/2 favourite to face the first chop of the series, followed closely behind by Dragons Den star Sara.
Nina is rated as a 5/1 chance, along with Ugo (6/1), Greg (7/1) and Tilly (8/1) next in line.
Jessica O’Reilly of Ladbrokes said: “Since Judi and Sara were announced as Strictly contestants they’ve received the least amount of bets to win, and now have the largest number of wagers to leave first unfortunately.”
STRICTLY SET TO MAKE DAZZLING COMEBACK AFTER LAST YEAR’S SHORTENED SERIES
A TV staple since it first hit the screens in 2004, Strictly Come Dancing will return to the box for a brand new series.
The hit BBC show is set for an astounding comeback after a shortened series in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read more here.
WHO ARE THE FOUR NEW STRICTLY PROFESSIONAL DANCERS?
There are four new dancers joining the line-up: Kai Widdrington, from the Irish version of Dancing With The Stars, former Let’s Dance Germany professional Nikita Kuzmin, reigning South African Latin champion Cameron Lombard, and The Greatest Dancer winner Jowita Przystal.
HOW TO WATCH STRICTLY COME DANCING ON TV
Strictly Come Dancing will begin on September 18, 2021, on BBC One at 7.45pm.
The launch show will see celebrities paired with their professional dancers.
The first live show airs at 7pm on Saturday, September 25, 2021, on BBC One.
No one will be axed after the first live show.
The shows will also be put on BBC iPlayer as each episode airs.
WHO ARE THIS YEAR’S JUDGES?
Shirley Ballas will return as head judge for the 2021 series.
Craig Revel Horwood will also take up his role as judge – which he has been doing since the show’s inception in 2004.
Motsi Mabuse is also returning for a third series.
They are all joined by Anton Du Beke who replaces long running judge Bruno Tonioli.
Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will also be returning to their duties as co-hosts.
WHEN DOES STRICTLY COME DANCING 2021 START?
Strictly Come Dancing 2021 starts on Saturday, September 18, 2021.
The 19th series will kick off at 7:45pm on BBC One.
The launch show will involve celebrities in the likes of Ugo Monye, Tom Fletcher, Katie McGlynn and Tilly Ramsay, among others, being paired up with their professional dancer.
The live shows are then set to begin on Saturday, September 25.
Dan Walker originally broke the news by mistake on BBC Breakfast on Thursday August 2 – but this was also confirmed by the BBC themselves a day later, August 3.
NOT SO LIVE-LY?
Concerns have also been raised about the return of a live studio audience.
Hundreds of fans will have front-row seats for Strictly’s star-studded 19th series.
BBC chiefs are already dealing with a Covid crisis after a pro tested positive earlier this week. They have been rushed into isolation with their celeb pairing likely to get a new partner.
The source added: “Strictly already has to jump through hoops just to be able to broadcast.
“The dancers who won’t get vaccinated have been a topic of conversation among cast and crew for weeks — even before the positive test.
“There were vocal protests from celebrities that they didn’t want to be paired with them.
ROSE 7/2 FAVOURITE TO WIN STRICTLY
ROSE AYLING-ELLIS is the new favourite with Ladbrokes to win Strictly Come Dancing this year.
Bets have flooded in for the Eastenders actress over the last week, and since Saturday night’s series opener Rose’s odds have been backed into favouritism at 7/2.
Rhys Stephenson’s price has also tumbled since the first episode and the CBBC presenter now finds himself chalked up at just 4/1, leaving former front runner Tom Fletcher on the drift to 6/1.
It’s now an 8/1 chance that John Whaite is crowned winner in the first ever all-male partnership with Johannes Radebe.
Judi Love (7/2) and Sara Davies (4/1) top the betting to be the first celebrity eliminated from the show.
Jessica O’Reilly of Ladbrokes said: “The gamble on Rose has been developing all week and the launch episode has put her in pole position, with Rhys just behind.”
STRICTLY’S GIOVANNI PERNICE SHARES VIDEO OF CELEBRITY PARTNER’S BATTERED FEET
STRICTLY fans can’t wait to find out who is paired with who on tonight’s big launch show.
One thing we do know though, whoever Giovanni Pernice’s celebrity partner is, they have been put through gruelling rehearsals by the pro dancer.
The hunky star, 31, revealed the battered and bruised feet of his mystery partner.
Taking to Instagram he shared the sore toes of his star dancer.
Giovanni – who has been on Strictly since 2015 – wrote across the short clip: “Welcome to Strictly partner”.
WHO IS IN THE STRICTLY 2021 LINE UP?
What a lively, sorry, lovely bunch.
Ladies and gents – your Strictly 2021 line-up:
- Robert Webb
- AJ Odudu
- Tom Fletcher
- Nina Wadia
- Greg Wise
- Tilly Ramsay
- Judi Love
- Adam Peaty
- Dan Walker
- Katie McGlynn
- John Whaite
- Rose Ayling-Ellis
- Rhys Stephenson
- Sara Davies
- Ugo Monye
No wonder Simon Cowell chose to cancel X Factor.
How on earth was it going to compete with the genuis that is Strictly?
The gift that keeps giving.
HE’S SO MCFLY
STRICTLY fans are going crazy for Tom on Twitter. Forget about ‘dad dancing’ he’s got some real grooves.
Katie McGlynn has been paired with pro dancer Gorka Marquez – and NOT her former beau Giovanni Pernice.
The Coronation Street star was seen meeting her dance partner for the first time on the opening show of the BBC ballroom competition on Saturday.
Or 15, should we say.
Strictly fans can’t fault the line-up.
TV fans went wild for 55-year-old actor Greg Wise this evening as he became the unlikely series heartthrob.
Viewers were blown away when photos of the star in his 20s in Sense & Sensibility were shown – and later admitted that he’s still got it.
Strictly’s Rose Ayling-Ellis, Tom Fletcher and Rhys Stephenson and have been predicted to be front runners for the competition.
That’s according to Betvictor who have generated odds on which celebs are most likely to win before the celebs have even had a chance to break a sweat.
Tom Fletcher has revealed he got the partner he wanted most ahead of tonight’s launch show.
The McFly rocker teamed up with Amy in a bid to secure the all glittering trophy.
STRICTLY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
Strictly is back, and that means only one thing for fans.
*sings* Jingle bells, jingle bells.
SHAKE YOUR MONEY-MAKER
Sara Davies is known for her savvy business skills on BBC’s Dragons’ Den.
But she’s now swapping the boardroom for the dancefloor on Strictly 2021.
It’s fair to say Sara is worth a bob or two.
The self-made businesswoman is worth a staggering £37million.
MR EMMA THOMPSON
Good old Greg is already the nation’s fave.
All singing, all dancing.
Fans think this glitzy Strictly 2021 line-up could be the best, and most diverse yet.
DREAM COME TRUE
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.
In 2012, he reached the final of the sixth series of Britain’s Got Talent.
What’s not to love with Greg on Strictly.
Strictly’s first deaf contestant Rose herself has explained how she will be able to pick up the beat of the music, so that she can dance in time to the music on the show.
The actress told BBC News: “It is a common misconception that deaf people can’t enjoy music.
“I have a hearing aid, so I pick up some of the music and I can hear the beat. I can hear someone singing, but I can’t identify exact words. I also feel the vibrations.”