Strictly Come Dancing has revealed which celebrities and professionals will be dancing together on this year’s series in tonight’s launch show.
The show opened with a montage of memorable Strictly moments from the last 15 years, before showing footage from the red carpet launch last week. The 15 stars of this year’s series were revealed in all their Strictly finery as they walked the runway in front of a crowd of fans and press.
There was a spectacular opening routine from Strictly’s professional dancers, which featured the legendary Nile Rodgers and his band Chic performing a medley of his hits, including We’re Lost In Music, Let’s Dance and We Are Family. Veteran pro Anton Du Beke even descended from the studio ceiling on a giant glitterball! Rodgers was later joined by Craig David and Steflon Don for a special performance of his new single Sober, accompanied by a routine from professional dancers AJ Pritchard, Janette Manrara, Gorka Marquez and Oti Mabuse.
Presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman were on hand to introduce the class of 2018 to viewers, as well as to their professional partners. Both Tess and Claudia chatted to the stars about their Strictly experience so far and their reactions to their professional partnerships.
Judges Craig Revel Horwood, Dame Darcey Bussell, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli all returned to the ballroom, offering their initial impressions of this year’s contestants. We were also introduced to Strictly’s three new professional dancers – Johannes Redebe, Luba Mushtuk and Graziano Di Prima – who took the lead roles in a sultry professional routine set in 1950s Havana.
The launch show concluded with our first glimpse of this year’s celebrities in action, as the stars and professional dancers performed a group routine to the classic soul song It Takes Two.
The full list of pairings for 2018 is:
Ashley Roberts & Pasha Kovalev
Charles Venn & Karen Clifton
Danny John-Jules & Amy Dowden
Faye Tozer & Giovanni Pernice
Graeme Swann & Oti Mabuse
Joe Sugg & Dianne Buswell
Kate Silverton & Aljaž Škorjanec
Katie Piper & Gorka Marquez
Lauren Steadman & AJ Pritchard
Lee Ryan & Nadiya Bychkova
Dr Ranj Singh & Janette Manrara
Seann Walsh & Katya Jones
Stacey Dooley & Kevin Clifton
Susannah Constantine & Anton Du Beke
Vick Hope & Graziano Di Prima
The celebrities and their professional partners now have two weeks to practice their debut routines before the first live show of the series.
Take a look at all of the action from tonight’s launch in our gallery below:
Strictly Come Dancing 2018 returns on Saturday 22nd September on BBC One.