Strictly Come Dancing kicked off in sensational style on Saturday night, as 15 celebrities took to the ballroom floor with their professional partners for the first time.
Made In Chelsea star Jamie Laing proudly showed his support for the celebrities as he watched his replacement Kelvin Fletcher raise the roof with a show-stopping Samba, that saw him soar to the top of the leaderboard.
Celebrities including Alex Scott, Catherine Tyldesley, James Cracknell and Michelle Visage took to the floor for the first time with their professional partners, hoping to impress the judges including newcomer Motsi Mabuse.
Incredible: Strictly Come Dancing kicked off in sensational style on Saturday night, as 15 celebrities took to the ballroom floor with their professional partners for the first time
After stepping in as Jamie’s replacement two weeks ago, fans were eagerly awaiting his debut, which was a Samba to La Vida Es Un Carnaval by Celia Cruz.
While a thrilled Motsi cheered on her sister Oti, the performance sent the crowd and the panel wild, with the judge gushing: ‘Well are we not happy you stepped in? Seriously you have good assets, I’m taking about that spine that hip rotation that oozingness in your body, that was rhythmic that was so fun you are strong, I loved that.’
Jamie proudly watched the pair from the audience, and even gave them a standing ovation.
Bruno Tonioli added: ‘This hunk is on fire! I think you started a chain reaction of hot flushes across the country, honestly this is the best samba i have seen on a debut show here in American in Australia for the past 15 years.’
The pair’s sensational debut was also reflected in the scores, with an amazing 32 points out of 40.
Unbelievable: Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher stunned with a Samba alongside Oti Mabus, and they soared to the top of the leaderboard with a stunning 32 points
Delighted: The soap star was drafted into the show earlier this month after Jamie Laing was forced to pull out with a foot injury
Supportive: Jamie proudly watched on from the audience and even gave Kelvin and Oti a standing ovation following their dance
Kelvin was drafted into Strictly at the last minute to replace Jamie, after he suffered a foot injury during filming for the launch show.
Speaking to Tess before his dance, the actor said: ‘The craziest two weeks I’ve ever had but I’m so happy to be here,’ before wishing Jamie well in the audience.
It came as all 15 couples took to the floor with their partners for the first time, and while some perfroe
First to take to the floor was former England Lioness Alex Scott, who danced a quickstep to the appropriately titled I Get a Kick Out of You by Frank Sinatra
British pro Neil Jones, who after four years of being on the show has landed has finally landed his first celebrity partner this series with the retired footballer.
Following an energetic routine, Neil said his debut performance was ‘worth the wait,’ and the judges all agreed the pair had plenty of potential.
Lovely: First to take to the floor was former England Lioness Alex Scott, who danced a quickstep to the appropriately titled I Get a Kick Out of You by Frank Sinatra with Neil Jones
Sensational: British pro Neil, who after four years of being on the show has landed has finally landed his first celebrity partner this series with the retired footballer
Making her first critique of the series, Motsi said: ‘I think you started off a little bit shy but as the music went on you did lighten up.
‘You look quite comfortable in the hold with Neil so we just need to work on your presentation, and then you’ve got all the goods you need girl you’re dangerous!’
The pair’s solid first dance was reflected with a respectable 21 points out of 40.
Strong: The pair’s solid first dance was reflected with a respectable 21 points out of 40
STRICTLY WEEK ONE LEADERBOARD
Alex Scott and Neil Jones: Quickstep to I Get a Kick Out of You by Frank Sinatra – 21 points out of 40
Dev Griffin and Dianne Buswell: Foxtrot to Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations – 30 points out of 40
David James and Nadiya Bychkova: Foxtrot to Three Lions by Baddiel, Skinner and Lightning Seeds – 17 points out of 40
Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice: So Emotional by Whitney Houston
James Cracknell and Luba Mushtuk: Tango to Gold by Spandau Ballet – 11 points out of 40
Will Bayley and Janette Manrara: Quickstep to Pencil Full of Lead by Paolo Nutini
Emma Weymouth and Aljaž Škorjanec: She’s a Lady by Tom Jones – 19 points out of 40
Catherine Tyldesley and Johannes Radebe: Viennese Waltz to I Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher – 20 points out of 40
Anneka Rice and Kevin Clifton: Cha Cha Cha to Gloria by Laura Branigan
Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard: Tango to Lips Are Moving by Meghan Trainor – 27 points out of 40
Chris Ramsey and Karen Hauer: Cha Cha Cha to Juice by Lizzo – 13 points out of 40
Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse: Samba to La Vida Es Un Carnaval by Celia Cruz – 32 points out of 40
Mike Bushell and Katya Jones: Jive to Do You Love Me by The Contours – 22 points out of 40
Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden: Cha Cha Cha to If I Can’t Have You by Shawn Mendes
Emma Barton and Anton Du Beke: Jive to Honey Honey by ABBA
Second was comedian Chris Ramsey and pro Karen Hauer, who danced a Cha Cha Cha to Juice by Lizzo.
Sadly the performance was branded ‘awkward’ by Craig Revel-Horwood, but an optimistic Shirley Ballas insisted there is a dancer deep down in him.
Chris seemed less convinced, as his supportive wife Rosie watched on in the audience, and he and Karen scored just 13 points on their debut.
Hysterical: Second was comedian Chris Ramsey and pro Karen Hauer, who danced a Cha Cha Cha to Juice by Lizzo
Funky: Sadly the performance was branded ‘awkward’ by Craig Revel-Horwood, but an optimistic Shirley Ballas insisted there is a dancer deep down in him. They scored just 13 points out of 40
Romantic: Next up was Catherine Tyldesley, who struggled to overcome her motion sickness when dancing a Viennese Waltz with Johannes Radebe to I Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher
Potential: The performance earned a respectable critique from the panel and scored 20 points out of 40, with both Craig and Shirley insisting she could go far in the competition
Next up was Catherine Tyldesley, who struggled to overcome her motion sickness when dancing a Viennese Waltz with Johannes Radebe to I Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher.
The performance earned a respectable critique from the panel and scored 20 points out of 40, with both Craig and Shirley insisting she could go far in the competition.
Motsi said: ‘You two are just a beautiful tall elegant couple, and you managed to create an atmosphere ,for further cases when you dance ballroom just to stay in his right shoulder and that smooths everything out.’
Bruno added: ‘The trick in the Viennese Waltz is maintaining it, there is no stumble, there is no hops, it is continuous flow you have to continue that all the way through but some very good bits.’
Cute: As this year’s youngest contestant, YouTube star Saffron Barker was out to prove she could move, and she certainly impressed with her partner AJ Pritchard as they danced a Tango to Meghan Trainor’s Lips Are Moving
Passionate: The pair delivered a sensational routine which sent the audience into the tailspin, and immediately earned a high score that sent them soaring to the top to the leaderboard
Over the moon: The pair struggled to hide their delight as they scored a surprising 27 points out of 40
As this year’s youngest contestant, YouTube star Saffron Barker was out to prove she could move, and she certainly impressed with her partner AJ Pritchard as they danced a Tango to Meghan Trainor’s Lips Are Moving.
Soaring to the top of the leaderboard, Motsi gushed: ‘Girl you have fire I love that! I enjoyed every second because you were in there you were alive, you risked it, you have us what want. That is the best I’ve seen until now.’
The pair struggled to hide their delight as they scored a surprising 27 points out of 40.
STRICTLY COME DANCING 2019: WHO ARE THE STARS?
Doing the funny fandango: Chris is known for his career in comedy
Name: Chris Ramsey
Famous for? Comedian and TV presenter
About Chris: With two series of The Chris Ramsey Show under his belt, he is also a regular face on other entertainment shows such as Celebrity Juice, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Live at the Comedy Store. He has also appeared on TV hosting Stand Up Central, and I’m a Celebrity: Extra Camp. In addition to his television work, Chris has also completed sell-out tours across the UK. Chris finished touring the UK last year with his 106 date stand-up tour Chris Ramsay Live 2018: The Just Happy To Get Out of the House Tour.
Chris says: ‘I’m both excited and absolutely terrified to be doing the show. You will not find me on the dance floor at parties, you will find me at the buffet table. All night. At my wedding I danced with my wife; that one song took about 6 months practice, and I definitely stood on her feet a couple of times. So I’m looking forward to the possibility of making a fool of myself in front of millions of people… there better be a buffet after the live shows!’
Waltzing from Walford: Emma plays Honey Mitchell on EastEnders
Name: Emma Barton
Famous for? Playing Honey Mitchell in EastEnders from 2005 to 2008, then returning to the roll from 2014 to present.
About Emma: As well as many on screen roles, Emma is also an accomplished stage actress with theatre credits including: Roxie Hart in Chicago; Dolly in the National Theatre’s production of One Man Two Guvnors; Vera in Doctor in the House; Lily in Annie; Marty in Grease; Eileen in Over the Moon. She recently ran the London Marathon as one of Dame Barbara Windsor’s ‘Revolutionaries’, in aid of Dementia Revolution.
Emma says: ‘As possibly one of the biggest Strictly fans on the planet, I still can’t believe this is happening. I’m very much a dance around your handbag kinda girl, but now I’ve been given this wonderful opportunity to learn all the different styles of dancing from the very best in the business. So, I’m whipping off Honey’s Minute Mart tabard & diving right in to all the glitter & sparkle. From Albert Square to the Strictly dance floor – I just can’t wait!’
From football to foxtrot: David is a goalkeeper, artist and pundit
Name: David James MBE
Famous for? Former England No.1 goalkeeper.
About David: Starting his career at Watford, David went on to play for a number of clubs including Liverpool, where he lifted the League Cup in 1994-95, and Portsmouth, whom he helped to FA Cup success in 2007-08. He amassed 53 caps for his country over an international career spanning 13 years and was first choice at both Euro 2004 and the 2010 World Cup. David, who has worked as a football analyst for the BBC & BT Sport, was awarded an MBE in 2012 for services to football and charity, and hung up his boots in 2013 after finishing his career at Icelandic club IBV. Aside from football James has also modelled for Giorgio Armani and H&M as well as being an avid artist, and was the illustrator on the book Harry’s Magic Pockets: The Circus.
David says: ‘I’m really excited to be on Strictly this year. Not just competing against this year’s stars, but being compared to previous sport stars from previous Strictly seasons. I have some big shoes to fill, #LetsGetLive.’
From the Tube to the twist: Saffron Barker is a YouTube star
Name: Saffron Barker
Famous for? Boasts over two million YouTube subscribers
About Saffron: Famous for her blend of make up, shopping and challenge videos on YouTube, the teen has made an estimated $1million since she started to make videos in 2015. The released her book My Perfectly Filtered Life in 2018. Before kick starting her solo YouTube career in 2015, Saffron was a part of a girl band called ‘Born2Blush’ with friends Libby Whitehouse, Jazmine Tiley and Georgia McNarmara. The teenager only turned 19 a week before her Strictly announcement and lives at home with her mum, dad and three brothers.
Saffron says: ‘Everyone keeps thinking I’m going to be really good. Sorry to disappoint everyone but I don’t think I’m going to be. I’d rate myself maybe a four, that’s not great!’
From the Rovers Return to the rumba: Former Corrie star Catherine Tyldesley
Name: Catherine Tyldesley
Famous for? Starring as Eva Price on Coronation Street from 2011-2018.
About Catherine: Hailing from Walkden, Greater Manchester, the stage and screen star’s acting credits include Holby City, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Sorted, Shameless and Trollied. She is best known for playing barmaid Eva Price on Corrie from 2011 until she left the role last summer to pursue different roles and spend more time with her young family. Catherine lives in Manchester with her personal trainer husband Tom Pitford and their son Alfie, four. Alongside acting, Catherine is a talented singer, releasing an album in 2016.
Catherine says: ‘I’m thrilled to be a part of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing. I’m a huge fan of the show. It’ll be my biggest challenge to date as I’m not much of a dancer, but I’ve always wanted to learn the skill and the time feels right! I’m nervous as hell but super excited to work with such talented professionals. Hold onto your jazz shoes… mine is sure to be a bumpy/clumsy/fun ride!’
Breakfast to ballroom: BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell
Name: Mike Bushell
Famous for? Presenting the sports coverage on BBC Breakfast.
About Mike: The sports presenter has been working for the BBC for nearly 30 years, after first starting out as a trainee reporter on BBC Radio Solent. He moved to BBC Breakfast after working for the 24-hour News channel. He also made headlines after a hilarious gaffe saw him tumble into a swimming pool during a live segment for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Mike also holds the world record for crossing one mile of water in a large inflatable ball in 1 hour 57 seconds. He married second wife Emily in May 2019, and has three daughters from his first marriage.
Mike says: ‘I am so excited to be joining this year’s Strictly Come Dancing. I’ve heard so many wonderful things from colleagues over the years so thrilled I’m now getting the chance. I know I will completely throw myself into the whole experience and I’m sure will love it from start to finish. I may have tried and profiled over 500 sports over the years in my Saturday morning BBC Breakfast slot but think the Strictly challenge could be the greatest. Bring on the glitter!’
From CBBC to cha cha cha: CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual
Name: Karim Zeroual
Famous for? Presenting CBBC and starring in The Sparticle Mystery.
About Karim: Karim is best known for his presenting duties on CBBC after joining the children’s television brand in 2014, he has also hosted BBC Young Dancer and Wimbledon Live. The talented 25-year-old is also currently filming a CBBC documentary, A Week to Beat the World. Karim rose to fame as a child in the West End, he has previously performed in the likes of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Far Pavillions and The Lion King. The presenter is also known for his acting credits after starring in EastEnders and as Sadiq in The Sparticle Mystery for three series from 2011 to 2015.
Karim says: ‘To be offered the chance to take part in Strictly is dumbfounding, I’m pinching myself! I’m so excited to be Strictlified. I want THE LOT. The skimpiest of clothes, the widest of flares, the brightest of colours and the tallest Cuban heel a guy can find! The more flamboyant the better… sequins galore please!’
From Longleat to the Lindy Hop: Viscountess Weymouth Emma Thynn
Name: Viscountess Weymouth Emma Thynn
Famous for? Businesswoman, chef, model and philanthropist.
About Emma: Raised in South Kensington where she was head girl at Queen’s Gate School. She later attended University College London where she studied History of Art. Following her marriage in 2013 to Ceawlin Thynn, Viscount Weymouth, Emma became the chatelaine of the Longleat Estate in Wiltshire. In 2015 Emma launched ‘Emma’s Kitchen’ at Longleat, a space for her to share her love of food and cooking using the backdrop of the original kitchens within Longleat House. In addition, Emma is a contributing editor for British Vogue.
Emma says: ‘I absolutely love watching Strictly every weekend and I can’t believe that I’m getting the chance to be on this series. I know it will be such an amazing experience from start to finish. I can’t wait for the dancing and the fabulous outfits!’
Not dragging her heels: Michelle Visage is a RuPaul’s Drag Race judge and former Celebrity Big Brother contestant
Name: Michelle Visage
Famous for? RuPaul’s Drag Race judge and Celebrity Big Brother contestant
About Michelle: Michelle is a member of the band Seduction and appears as a judge on American reality competition RuPaul’s Drag Race, which she has featured on since season three. She has also featured on all seasons of the spin-off show RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars. Michelle will appear on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, which is set to air on BBC Three this October. Michelle was also on the fifteenth series of Celebrity Big Brother finishing in fifth place. Most recently, she has appeared as a judge on the first two seasons of Ireland’s Got Talent. This year, Michelle made her West End debut as Miss Hedge in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.
Michelle says: ‘I’m very excited! I’m over the moon to be on the show! I’ve loved it for years! I can’t wait to be dramatic. I’m a woman who is 50-years-old and people of an age say I cant do it anymore but we can!’
Going for gold! Table tennis star Will Bayley will be competing in Strictly 2019
Name: Will Bayley
Famous for? Paralympic gold medal-winning table tennis player
About Will: In January 2017 Will was awarded an MBE for services for Table Tennis and is currently training to defend his Paralympic title at the Tokyo 2020 games. He recently won Gold at the Japan Open 2019. Will has suffered from arthrogryposis since birth, a rare condition which affects all four of his limbs. Will is classified as a Class 7 Paralympic athlete and was one of the stars of London 2012 and Rio 2016 games, winning consecutive silver and gold medals.
Will says: ‘I’m so proud to be on the show, it’s my family’s favourite show. I have no dance experience at all, but I hope I can do well. I want to inspire people with a disability – that would mean a lot to me. I want to prove to people I can do this.’
11th in line: Made In Chelsea’s Jamie Laing has joined the Strictly 2019 line-up
Name: Jamie Laing
Famous for? Long-running star of Made In Chelsea.
About Jamie: Jamie hosts the podcast Private Parts alongside actor-comedian Francis Boulle. Jamie has also appeared on Celebrity Hunted, The Great British Bakeoff and Famous and Fighting Crime. Jamie has appeared in the award-winning television series Made In Chelsea since 2011. As well as his media presence, Jamie is also a successful businessman, having founded the sweets brand Candy Kittens in 2012.
Jamie says: ‘I am beyond thrilled to be asked to be on Strictly, the only person potentially more thrilled is my mother. I have finally become the son she hoped for! I think I’ve got a little bit of rhythm but I went to Leeds University and I studied theatre and performance for the first year and I had to do contemporary dance. I spoke to a lot of people who had done it in the past and people said it’s the scariest thing they’ve ever done. But you have to challenge yourself. I’ve turned down other reality shows. I just want to make my mum proud.’
Challenge accepted! Anneka Rice will be back on Saturday night TV this autumn
Name: Anneka Rice
Famous for? TV shows Challenge Anneka and Treasure Hunt.
About Anneka: In 1982 Anneka became the jump-suited ‘skyrunner’ om Channel 4’s Treasure Hunt – leading to a BAFTA nomination and being bestowed with the Rear Of The Year award. Her next project, Challenge Anneka, was initially aired on BBC One and lasted from 1989-1995. It returned, on ITV, from 2006-2007. Prior to this, she adapted it in 2001 for US TV. It was branded Challenge America and hosted by Erin Brockovich. Anneka acted as a producer.
Anneka says: ‘I haven’t danced since I was 7 and Miss Beer sent me home from my ballet class because I was hopelessly uncoordinated. My family and friends haven’t seen me dance since, not at a wedding or round a handbag so it’s going to be a challenge for my partner. In fact I’ve asked for two, one on each side. I can’t see myself in a long frilly dress either. But I’m feeling recklessly excited. Strictly has always been my Autumn’s entertainment and now I’m part of it! My children will probably leave the country.’
DJ to Dance floor: Dev presents the Radio 1 Weekend Breakfast Show
Name: Dev Griffin
Famous for? Radio 1 DJ
About Dev: Dev presents the Radio 1 Weekend Breakfast Show having formerly fronted the Early Morning Show between September 2009- March 2014. He began his career as an actor, appearing in the likes of Emmerdale, The Bill and EastEnders. Dev was a contestant on Celebrity MasterChef in 2017.
Dev says: ‘I just can’t believe I’m doing Strictly, it just doesn’t feel real yet! It’s going to be so much fun, but just to be clear, I’m not doing this to take part, I’m totally in it to win it! I can’t wait to meet my partner and start practicing.’
Hot-footed: Alex represented Great Britain in football at the 2012 London Olympics
Name: Alex Scott
Famous for? Footballer
About Alex: Alex was a footballer who mostly played as a right-back for Arsenal in the FA WSL. She made 140 appearances for the English national team and also represented Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics. Alex captained Arsenal – the team she signed for at the age of eight – and helped the club to a domestic double of the FA Women’s Cup and the FA Women’s Premier League, and remained a key figure when they won the quadruple in the 2006/07 season. Since her retirement last year, she has started a successful TV career on BBC and Sky Sports, and last August she became the first female Sky pundit on a Sky Sports’ Super Sunday, and made waves as a fresh addition to the BBC World Cup Commentary line up.
Alex Says: ‘I am absolutely buzzing to be signed up to Strictly. It’s the show I’ve always wanted to do and I can’t believe I’m finally going to be part of it. I’m super excited, but also terrified at the same time…! The football pitch is a bit less glam than the ballroom, but I’m ready to try the sequins and dresses! Bring it on!’
Cracking on: Olympic rower James was banned from taking part in Strictly last year
Name: James Cracknell
Famous for? Olympic champion oarsman
About James: Olympic rower James was banned from taking part in Strictly Come Dancing last year by his wife because she was wary of the glamorous professional dancers – and the ‘Strictly Curse’ that has triggered a string of very public break-ups among the celebs. Now, just a month after being granted a divorce, the double Olympic champion oarsman has signed up as a contestant on this year’s series of the hit BBC show. His decision to take part in Britain’s biggest entertainment show comes just months after his split from Beverley Turner, his wife of 17 years who nursed him back to health after a near fatal brain injury. Beverley, 45, had previously refused to let him take part in the show because she ‘didn’t want him having some Russian f***y in his face every week’.
James says: ‘I’m really looking forward to being a part of Strictly this year. Having spent so many years mucking around in a rowing boat with big men in tight lycra, it’s time I learned a new skill. I need to apologise to my kids in advance for the embarrassment.’