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Strictly Come Dancing 2020 contestants, release date & news

SEVEEENN! After a long wait, Strictly Come Dancing is back for 2020 – and we’ll be seeing the celebs taking to the floor with their partners for the first time this week. 

But who will be on series 18 of Strictly? When will it air? And most importantly, will it be fab-u-lous?! Find out all below: 

When does Strictly Come Dancing start?

Strictly Come Dancing series 18 is now underway, with all the partnerships revealed in the launch show on 17 October. You can tune in every Saturday on BBC One. 

The first results show will air in week two, on Sunday 1 October. The results will then be weekly on Sundays, until the finale. 

Who are the contestants and their partners?

Twelve celebrities are competing this year – and all the pairings have now been confirmed. 

  • Clara Amfo (BBC Radio 1 Presenter) and Aljaž Škorjanec
  • Ranvir Singh (Good Morning Britain Presenter) and Giovanni Pernice 
  • Caroline Quentin (Actress and Presenter) and Johannes Radebe
  • Jason Bell (Broadcaster and former American Football Player) and Luba Mushtuk
  • Max George (Singer and Actor) and Dianne Buswell
  • Nicola Adams (Olympic Boxer) and Katya Jones
  • Bill Bailey (Comedian, Actor and Musician) and Oti Mabuse
  • JJ Chalmers (Broadcaster for the Paralympics) and Amy Dowden 
  • Jamie Laing (Made in Chelsea star) and Karen Hauer
  • Maisie Smith (EastEnders Actress and Singer) and Gorka Marquez
  • HRVY (Musician) and Janette Manrara
  • Jacqui Smith (Former Home Secretary) and Anton Du Beke 

Who are the judges?

We’ll see Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and 2019’s new judge Motsi Mabuse all return. Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will return as the main hosts, and Zoe Ball and Rylan Clark-Neal will present the It Takes Two show. 

However, it has been confirmed that Bruno Tonioli will miss part of the series due to his involvement with the US sister show, Dancing With the Stars and living in America. He’ll be absent from most Saturday live shows – and will zoom in for some Sunday results shows. No other judge will replace him in the mean time. 

Which professionals are returning?

The full list of returning professionals has now been announced – and the lineup is missing veteran dancer and former champion, Kevin Clifton, as well as A.J. Pritchard. 

  • Aljaž Škorjanec
  • Amy Dowden
  • Anton Du Beke
  • Dianne Buswell
  • Giovanni Pernice
  • Gorka Marquez
  • Graziano Di Prima
  • Janette Manrara
  • Johannes Radebe
  • Karen Hauer
  • Katya Jones
  • Luba Mushtuk
  • Nadiya Bychkova
  • Nancy Xu
  • Neil Jones
  • Oti Mabuse

Changes to Strictly Come Dancing 2020

Due to the ongoing pandemic, there will be some major changes to this year’s edition of Strictly. The BBC has stated that the series will be shorter than usual, there will be a very limited studio audience, and there will be a skeleton crew to minimise the number of people within the ballroom.

In addition, all the professional group dances have been recorded at least a month in advanced. 

But not all the big changes are due to the pandemic. For the first time, Strictly will feature a same-sex celebrity and professional pairing. Boxer Nicola Adams signed up to the show and suggested the move to the producers. It’s a huge step forward for the show, and comes after Dancing On Ice featured the first same-sex pairing back in 2019. 

As far as we’re aware, everything else will stay the same. We’re almost guaranteed to see a return of the Halloween, Movies and Musicals episodes, as well as the ‘couples choice’ category, which allowed each pairing to choose one style to dance out of contemporary, jazz and street.

What other Strictly shows will be on?

If you can’t just wait until every Saturday night to get your fix of steps and sequins, then Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two will return on 26 October, airing every weekday evening on BBC Two. This show features interviews with contestants and judges, as well as training room footage and more. 

In addition, the Strictly podcast, Strictly Confidential, is back. Hosted by former Strictly finalist Joe Sugg and Strictly producer Kim Winston, this show includes real behind-the-scenes action from the stars of the show, and reveals information on the crew behind the glitz and glamour. You can listen to the show over on BBC sounds, or wherever you get your podcasts.  

Who won Strictly Come Dancing 2019?

Former Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse managed to snag the glitterball trophy, fending off fierce competition in the finale from CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden and EastEnders actress Emma Barton and Anton Du Beke. Fletcher was a last-minute replacement for Jamie Laing, who injured himself in the launch show. 

strictly come dancing news

How to watch outside of the UK

As always, Strictly Come Dancing will be shown on BBC One, with pre-recorded shows to begin with followed by live shows as the competition heats up. You can watch on your TV as the episodes air, or on BBC iPlayer on most internet-connected devices, whether that’s a laptop, tablet or phone, or perhaps a media streamer or games console.

You’ll also be able to watch it on BBC iPlayer if you missed the episode and want to catch up. If you’re outside of the UK, there are ways to watch BBC iPlayer abroad such as using a VPN (virtual private network) like NordVPN. Find out more about how to do that here.

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