News, Culture & Society

Strictly Come Dancing launch 2019: The stars arrive for this year’s glittering inauguration

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman led the stars at the 2019 Strictly Come Dancing launch – which took place on the final Bank Holiday Monday of the summer.

Stepping out in the baking London heat, the glam duo, who co-host the annual BBC dance contest, looked thrilled to be back as they strutted onto the stage, hand-in-hand, to greet the crowds at the inaugural event for the 17th season.

Claudia, 47, ditched her usual black attire, wowing in an elaborate sparkling trouser-suit.

First ladies: Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman led the stars at the 2019 Strictly Come Dancing launch - which took place on the final Bank Holiday Monday of the summer

First ladies: Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman led the stars at the 2019 Strictly Come Dancing launch – which took place on the final Bank Holiday Monday of the summer

The presenter looked fantastic in the eye-catching number, featuring a glittery red blazer and tailored slacks.

She offset the rouge with bright pink heels and a complimenting manicure, wearing her raven tresses in their trademark shaggy bobbed style.

Tess, 50, swept along next to her pal in a dark teal velvet gown in a figure-hugging design with a daring side split.

She added glittery silver heels and large hooped earrings to the look, wearing her blonde tresses in flowing waves around her shoulders, dusting a light turquoise shade to her eyes. 

Here come the girls: Stepping out in the baking London heat, the glam duo, who co-host the annual BBC dance contest, looked thrilled to be back as they strutted onto the stage, hand-in-hand, to greet the crowds at the inaugural event for the 17th season

Here come the girls: Stepping out in the baking London heat, the glam duo, who co-host the annual BBC dance contest, looked thrilled to be back as they strutted onto the stage, hand-in-hand, to greet the crowds at the inaugural event for the 17th season

Here come the girls: Stepping out in the baking London heat, the glam duo, who co-host the annual BBC dance contest, looked thrilled to be back as they strutted onto the stage, hand-in-hand, to greet the crowds at the inaugural event for the 17th season

Off-brand: Claudia, 47, ditched her usual black attire, wowing in an elaborate sparkling trouser-suit. The presenter looked fantastic in the eye-catching number, featuring a glittery red blazer and tailored slacks

Off-brand: Claudia, 47, ditched her usual black attire, wowing in an elaborate sparkling trouser-suit. The presenter looked fantastic in the eye-catching number, featuring a glittery red blazer and tailored slacks

Star-spangled: She offset the rouge with bright pink heels and a complimenting manicure, wearing her raven tresses in their trademark shaggy bobbed style

Star-spangled: She offset the rouge with bright pink heels and a complimenting manicure, wearing her raven tresses in their trademark shaggy bobbed style

Golden girl: Tess, 50, swept along next to her pal in a dark teal velvet gown in a figure-hugging design with a daring side split. She added glittery silver heels and large hooped earrings to the look, wearing her blonde tresses in flowing waves around her shoulders, dusting a light turquoise shade to her eyes

Golden girl: Tess, 50, swept along next to her pal in a dark teal velvet gown in a figure-hugging design with a daring side split. She added glittery silver heels and large hooped earrings to the look, wearing her blonde tresses in flowing waves around her shoulders, dusting a light turquoise shade to her eyes

Golden girl: Tess, 50, swept along next to her pal in a dark teal velvet gown in a figure-hugging design with a daring side split. She added glittery silver heels and large hooped earrings to the look, wearing her blonde tresses in flowing waves around her shoulders, dusting a light turquoise shade to her eyes

Earlier in the day, all eyes were on pro dancers Katya and Neil Jones who announced they were divorcing just last week.

But the twosome looked like the friendliest of exes as they rehearsed on stage ahead of the launch.

The former couple were in high spirits as they danced together. Sporting pink printed shorts and a black vest, Katya, 30, beamed as her soon-to-be-ex-husband wrapped an arm around her waist before lifting her off her feet during one particularly energetic routine. 

Close: They announced their separation little more than a week ago, but Katya and Neil Jones looked like the friendliest of exes as they made an appearance at the Strictly Come Dancing press launch on Monday

Upbeat: The former couple were in high spirits as they took to the stage for rehearsals at London's TV Centre ahead of the event, held to promote the forthcoming seventeenth series of the long-running show

Close: They announced their separation little more than a week ago, but Katya and Neil Jones looked like the friendliest of exes as they rehearsed for the Strictly Come Dancing launch on Monday

Spinning away: Katya showed off her skills while Neil looked on as they prepared for the red carpet launch 

Despite announcing their split after six-years of marriage, the couple suggested they had spent their weekend together after making a joint appearance at Hampshire football club Alton FC. 

The pair were filmed taking part in an impromptu penalty shoot out at the Wessex League Division One club on Sunday, and appeared to be close despite claims that a lack of passion contributed to the collapse of their marriage. 

A source told The Sun: ‘Neil was very open about the fact that there was no passion between them — that they didn’t have sex.

Back together: The former couple were in high spirits as they took to the stage for rehearsals at London's TV Centre ahead of the event, held to promote the forthcoming seventeenth series of the long-running show

Back together: The former couple were in high spirits as they took to the stage for rehearsals at London’s TV Centre ahead of the event, held to promote the forthcoming seventeenth series of the long-running show

Here we go: Neil was joined by a second dance partner as they performed an energetic routine with her husband on Monday

Here we go: Neil was joined by a second dance partner as they performed an energetic routine with her husband on Monday

Here we go: Neil was joined by a second dance partner as they performed an energetic routine with her husband on Monday

In safe hands: Katya did not flinch as Neil lifted her in the air and flung her about

In safe hands: Katya did not flinch as Neil lifted her in the air and flung her about 

Super moves: Proving his strength and endurance, the red-haired danced lifted Katya with ease

Super moves: Proving his strength and endurance, the red-haired danced lifted Katya with ease 

Tricks: The dancing partners put on a professional display as they rehearsed alongside their Strictly co-stars

Tricks: The dancing partners put on a professional display as they rehearsed alongside their Strictly co-stars 

‘He said they spent all their evenings together lounging on the sofa in comfy onesies, watching Disney films like The Lion King and The Little Mermaid.

‘They had been together for so long that obviously they were close, but as friends. The intimacy had drained from the marriage.’

The publication also reported that the British performer ‘insinuated’ that Katya was ‘jealous’ of him as he became more famous and that he believes he could be ‘bigger than Anton Du Beke.’ 

Good company: Despite recently ending their marriage, the Russian dancer and British performer smiled and laughed together

Good company: Despite recentlyending their marriage, the Russian dancer and British performer smiled and laughed together

Good company: Despite recently ending their marriage, the Russian dancer and British performer smiled and laughed together 

However there was no sign of animosity as they performed numerous well executed routines before swapping partners.  

Other stars to attend the event on Monday included Karen Clifton, who worked up a sweat during rehearsals at TV Centre ahead of the show’s red carpet launch. 

The professional dancer put her incredibly toned physique on full display a in tiny black sportswear set as she perfected her footwork for the press event.

Looking every inch the fitness enthusiast, the Latin dance specialist wowed in a plain bralet, tied in with a matching pair of shorts.

Centre stage: Other stars to attend the event on Monday included Karen Clifton, who worked up a sweat during rehearsals at TV Centre

Centre stage: Other stars to attend the event on Monday included Karen Clifton, who worked up a sweat during rehearsals at TV Centre

Stunning: Looking every inch the fitness enthusiast, the Latin dance specialist wowed in a plain bralet, tied in with a matching pair of shorts as she danced with Aljaž Škorjanec

Stunning: Looking every inch the fitness enthusiast, the Latin dance specialist wowed in a plain bralet, tied in with a matching pair of shorts as she danced with Aljaž Škorjanec

That's better: The professional dancer dried herself off with a towel after working up a sweat during rehearsals

That's better: The professional dancer dried herself off with a towel after working up a sweat during rehearsals

That’s better: The professional dancer dried herself off with a towel after working up a sweat during rehearsals

Practice makes perfect: Karen Clifton worked up a sweat with her ex-husband Kevin during rehearsals in London on Monday, ahead of Strictly Come Dancing's 2019 red carpet launch

Amicable exes: They have been gearing up for the 17th edition of the show, set to return to BBC One next month

 Practice makes perfect: Karen Clifton worked up a sweat with her ex-husband Kevin during rehearsals in London on Monday, ahead of Strictly Come Dancing’s 2019 red carpet launch

Impressive: Karen changed into a more elaborate outfit of a dazzling gold dress encrusted with gemstones and featuring strips of sheer material that cascaded down her legs

Impressive: Karen changed into a more elaborate outfit of a dazzling gold dress encrusted with gemstones and featuring strips of sheer material that cascaded down her legs

Bombshell: Karen posed up a storm in her sexy outfit as she smiled from ear to ear

Bombshell: Karen posed up a storm in her sexy outfit as she smiled from ear to ear

Bombshell: Karen posed up a storm in her sexy outfit as she smiled from ear to ear

Zestful: The stars showcased their talent as they rehearsed with all their energy in the heat

Zestful: The stars showcased their talent as they rehearsed with all their energy in the heat  

I've got you: Anton Du Beke performed an equally energetic routing

I've got you: Anton Du Beke performed an equally energetic routing

I’ve got you: Anton Du Beke performed an equally energetic routing 

The choreographer injected a hint of glamour into her dressed-down appearance with brown sandal heels, and tied a denim shirt around her waist.

Sporting minimal make-up, Karen showcased her naturally radiant complexion while her edgy haircut was worn in a tousled style.   

Let's dance: meanwhile Anton was accompanied by a female dancer as they prepared for another routine

Let's dance: meanwhile Anton was accompanied by a female dancer as they prepared for another routine

Let’s dance: meanwhile Anton was accompanied by a female dancer as they prepared for another routine

Impressive: The dancer showed off his upper body strength as he lifted his fellow ballroom pro off her feet

Impressive: The dancer showed off his upper body strength as he lifted his fellow ballroom pro off her feet  

Professional dancer Giovanni Pernice, 28, appeared to work up a sweat in the heatwave as he worked on his fancy footwork ahead of the big show.

The Italian native wiped the perspiration off his forehead with his grey vest top and in the process he flaunted his abs. 

It was impossible to miss Dianne Buswell as she took to the stage with Kevin Clifton due to her bright red locks that she swayed about as she twisted and turned in a pair of leggings and a white T-shirt printed with a provocative pair of lips that she tied up to expose her midriff. 

Hot and bothered: Giovanni Pernice was feeling the heat as he rehearsed on Monday afternoon

Hot and bothered: Giovanni Pernice was feeling the heat as he rehearsed on Monday afternoon 

Exhausted: The professional dancer wiped away sweat as temperatures soared outside TV Centre

Exhausted: The professional dancer wiped away sweat as temperatures soared outside TV Centre

Exhausted: The professional dancer wiped away sweat as temperatures soared outside TV Centre

Fancy footwork: Giovanni was later joined by fellow Strictly pro Neil

Fancy footwork: Giovanni was later joined by fellow Strictly pro Neil 

Wow: It was impossible to miss Dianne Buswell due to her bright red locks

Eye-catching: She styled up a pair of leggings and a white T-shirt printed with a provocative pair of lips that she tied up to expose her midriff

Wow: It was impossible to miss Dianne Buswell due to her bright red locks that she swayed about as she twisted and turned in a pair of leggings and a white T-shirt printed with a provocative pair of lips that she tied up to expose her midriff

Professional: Kevin kept it casual in a navy and white striped long sleeve top and black chino trousers as he effortlessly lifted petite Dianne

Professional: Kevin kept it casual in a navy and white striped long sleeve top and black chino trousers as he effortlessly lifted petite Dianne

Dancing queen: Dianne looked at ease as she danced with Kevin

Working hard: The duo looked out of breathe after their session

Dancing queen: Dianne looked at ease as she danced with Kevin

Kevin kept it casual in a navy and white striped long sleeve top and black chino trousers as he effortlessly lifted petite Dianne. 

Janette Manrara flaunted her gym-honed physique in a skintight leggings and a sheer black vest covered in polka dots.

She danced alongside her spouse Aljaž Škorjanec who spun her around in a black vest and jeans.

Impressive: Dianne showcased her flexibility as she did a split in the air

Impressive: Dianne showcased her flexibility as she did a split in the air 

Sporty: Janette Manrara flaunted her gym-honed physique in a skintight leggings and a sheer black vest covered in polka dots

Sporty: Janette Manrara flaunted her gym-honed physique in a skintight leggings and a sheer black vest covered in polka dots

Gifted: Oti Mabuse looked every inch the professional as she rehearsed

Special: The star wore a T-shirt emblazoned with 'limited edition'

 Gifted: Oti Mabuse looked every inch the professional as she rehearsed

Oti Mabuse looked every inch the professional as she rehearsed wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with ‘limited edition’ and form-fitting leggings.

Elsewhere show hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman couldn’t contain their excitement as they greeted crowds outside the London venue. 

Slipping into a white polka dot summer dress, Tess, 50, was positively glowing as she joined Claudia for rehearsals ahead of star-studded red carpet extravaganza.  

Letting her blonde locks cascade down her shoulders, Tess teamed her stylish dress with a pair of beige stiletto heels and large white-rimmed sunglasses as she took to the stage. 

Husband and wife: She danced alongside her spouse Aljaž Škorjanec who spun her around in a black vest and jeans

Husband and wife: She danced alongside her spouse Aljaž Škorjanec who spun her around in a black vest and jeans

Elegant: Elsewhere show hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman couldn't contain their excitement as they greeted crowds outside the London venue

Elegant: Elsewhere show hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman couldn’t contain their excitement as they greeted crowds outside the London venue

Pretty: Slipping into a white polka dot summer dress, Tess, 50, was positively glowing as she joined Claudia for rehearsals ahead of star-studded red carpet extravaganza

Glam: Letting her blonde locks cascade down her shoulders, Tess teamed her stylish dress with a pair of beige stiletto heels and large white-rimmed sunglasses as she took to the stage

Pretty: Slipping into a white polka dot summer dress, Tess, 50, was positively glowing as she joined Claudia for rehearsals ahead of star-studded red carpet extravaganza

Laid-back: Meanwhile, Claudia kept her look simple in an oversized black jumper underneath a black dress

Laid-back: Meanwhile, Claudia kept her look simple in an oversized black jumper underneath a black dress

Meanwhile, Claudia kept her look simple in an oversized black jumper underneath a black dress. 

The duo looked in high-spirits as they larked about together behind their sunglasses and proved their close friendship as they held hands and giggled.

Also spotted were the judging panel –  Craig Revel Horwood, 54, Bruno Tonioli, 63, Shirley Ballas, 58, and the newest addition to judges line-up Motsi Mabuse, 38 – the foursome were dressed to the nines in their finery with Craig and Bruno putting on dapper displays in tuxedos and Motsi and Shirley in stunning evening gowns.

Judges: Also spotted were the judging panel - Craig Revel Horwood, 54, Bruno Tonioli, 63, Shirley Ballas, 58, and the newest addition to judges line-up Motsi Mabuse, 38 - the foursome were dressed to the nines in their finery with Craig and Bruno putting on dapper displays in tuxedos and Motsi and Shirley in stunning evening gowns

Judges: Also spotted were the judging panel – Craig Revel Horwood, 54, Bruno Tonioli, 63, Shirley Ballas, 58, and the newest addition to judges line-up Motsi Mabuse, 38 – the foursome were dressed to the nines in their finery with Craig and Bruno putting on dapper displays in tuxedos and Motsi and Shirley in stunning evening gowns

Living it up! Craig, Motsi and Shirley looked in their element as they danced about on stage

Living it up! Craig, Motsi and Shirley looked in their element as they danced about on stage 

Newcomer: Motsi Mabuse certainly made an impression as she arrived at the rehearsals for the show's red carpet event in a gigantic pink tulle skirt on Monday

Newcomer: Motsi Mabuse certainly made an impression as she arrived at the rehearsals for the show’s red carpet event in a gigantic pink tulle skirt on Monday

Glam: Motsi wowed in the showstopping skirt, which fanned out in sensational style and made sure her arrival on the judging panel was known

Glam: Motsi wowed in the showstopping skirt, which fanned out in sensational style and made sure her arrival on the judging panel was known

Glam: Motsi wowed in the showstopping skirt, which fanned out in sensational style and made sure her arrival on the judging panel was known

Stylish: Motsi added a touch of bling with statement earrings and rings layered up on her fingers

Stylish: Motsi added a touch of bling with statement earrings and rings layered up on her fingers 

Stunning: Age-defying Shirley slipped into a cobalt blue semi-sheer pleated gown with a white detailing that cupped under her bust and nipped in at her svelte waist

Stunning: Age-defying Shirley slipped into a cobalt blue semi-sheer pleated gown with a white detailing that cupped under her bust and nipped in at her svelte waist

Suave: Bruno's jazzy suit was made out of a black velvet animal printed brocade material

Suave: Bruno’s jazzy suit was made out of a black velvet animal printed brocade material 

Oh la la! Shirley lifted up her skirt to expose her tanned pins

Colleagues: Bruno wrapped his arm around Shirley

Oh la la! Shirley lifted up her skirt to expose her tanned pins and later on, Bruno wrapped his arm around Shirley

Age-defying Shirley slipped into a cobalt blue semi-sheer pleated gown with a white detailing that cupped under her bust and nipped in at her svelte waist. 

The showstopping garment featured a long white train that billowed when the wind got underneath the satin material.

Motsi brought the drama in a black off-the-shoulder top teamed with a red layered tulle skirt which was pulled in at her midriff with a black leather belt decorated with a gold buckle. 

Larking about: Later on, some of the celebrities rocked up and used the time to rehearse

Larking about: Later on, some of the celebrities rocked up and used the time to rehearse

Jokers: Jamie and David James danced about in their relaxation clothes

Fun time: They struggled to contain their excitement as they bent their knees and clicked their fingers in unison

Jokers: Jamie and David James danced about in their relaxation clothes and struggled to contain their excitement as they bent their knees and clicked their fingers in unison

Oops! David looked frustrated as if he has messed up his fancy footwork

Oops! David looked frustrated as if he has messed up his fancy footwork 

Sweet: James Cracknell, 47, and Catherine Tyldesley, 35, practiced a cute routine where the sportsman kissed the actres' hand

Sweet: James Cracknell, 47, and Catherine Tyldesley, 35, practiced a cute routine where the sportsman kissed the actres’ hand

Trendy: Catherine looked a vision in a yellow summer dress that wrapped around her lithe figure and sported trainers

Trendy: Catherine looked a vision in a yellow summer dress that wrapped around her lithe figure and sported trainers

Elegant: The beauty tied her caramel locks up in a ponytail and flaunted a face of radiant make-up

Elegant: The beauty tied her caramel locks up in a ponytail and flaunted a face of radiant make-up

Edgy: James donned leather trousers and a black T-shirt

Edgy: James donned leather trousers and a black T-shirt 

One step at a time: Emma Barton, 42, walked onto the stage with Dev Griffin, 34, to rehearse before they slipped into their performance ensembles

One step at a time: Emma Barton, 42, walked onto the stage with Dev Griffin, 34, to rehearse before they slipped into their performance ensembles

Movers and shakers: Radio DJ Dev cut a casual figure in a black T-shirt and skinny jeans and kept his curls out of his face by tying his locks up in a ponytail

Movers and shakers: Radio DJ Dev cut a casual figure in a black T-shirt and skinny jeans and kept his curls out of his face by tying his locks up in a ponytail

Later on, some of the celebrities rocked up and used the time to rehearse.

Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing and footballer David James danced about in their relaxation clothes and struggled to contain their excitement as they bent their knees and clicked their fingers in unison. 

James Cracknell, 47, and Catherine Tyldesley, 35, practiced a cute routine where the sportsman kissed the actres’ hand.

Catherine looked a vision in a yellow summer dress that wrapped around her lithe figure and sported trainers.

The beauty tied her caramel locks up in a ponytail and flaunted a face of radiant make-up.

Here he comes: Contestant Jamie Laing was seen making his way into TV Centre ahead of Monday evening's event

Here he comes: Contestant Jamie Laing was seen making his way into TV Centre ahead of Monday evening’s event 

Can't wait: The Made In Chelsea star looked excited as he joined fellow guests at the event

Make way: Former England goalkeeper David James was also present on Monday afternoon

Can’t wait: The Made In Chelsea star looked excited as he joined fellow guests at the event, where he was joined by former England goalkeeper David

Pals: James embraced a female friend as they chatted in the sunshine outside the venue

Pals: James embraced a female friend as they chatted in the sunshine outside the venue 

Let's talk: Idling outside the studio, Jamie  chatted with a group of female friends

Let’s talk: Idling outside the studio, Jamie  chatted with a group of female friends

Keep dancing: Kylie Minogue made a star appearance as she headed to rehearsals ahead of the Strictly Come Dancing press launch in London on Monday

Beauty: The singer, 51, took to the stage in a stunning midnight blue handkerchief hem dress, which sheathed over her slender figure

Beauty: The singer, 51, took to the stage in a stunning midnight blue handkerchief hem dress, which sheathed over her slender figure

Dancing shoes: The Strictly girls helped create an elegant formation, while the boys performed a series of tricks and lifts behind the pop superstar

Dancing shoes: The Strictly girls helped create an elegant formation, while the boys performed a series of tricks and lifts behind the pop superstar

Emma Barton, 42, walked onto the stage with Dev Griffin, 34, to rehearse before they slipped into their performance ensembles. 

The pretty actress wore a baggy black dress and beamed from ear to ear as she walked hand-in-hand with her co-star.

Radio DJ Dev cut a casual figure in a black T-shirt and skinny jeans and kept his curls out of his face by tying his locks up in a ponytail. 

Appearing at the event to perform was Kylie Minogue, 51, took to the stage in a stunning midnight blue handkerchief hem dress, which sheathed over her slender figure.

Kylie matched the blue neon graphics in the background in the gorgeous dress, which featured a plunging neckline and white piping.

The I Should Be So Lucky hitmaker added a boost to her petite frame with gold studded heels and wore her blonde hair in elegant waves.

Catching the eye: The star looked effortlessly stylish as she tottered around the BBC studios

Busy: Kylie has been busy touring the UK, showcasing tracks from her latest album Golden, which was released in April 2018

Catching the eye: The star looked effortlessly stylish as she tottered around the BBC studios 

Hot under the collar: The songstress fanned herself as she struggled to keep cool in the sweltering heat

Hot under the collar: The songstress fanned herself as she struggled to keep cool in the sweltering heat 

Stage presence: Kylie looked glamorous on stage which had glittering gold sequin props

Stage presence: Kylie looked glamorous on stage which had glittering gold sequin props 

Working it: The Strictly men threw themselves around Kylie

Working it: The Strictly men threw themselves around Kylie 

Kylie appeared excited for the launch as she took to the stage to perform some of her latest hits.

The star pranced around with the Strictly professionals, ensuring she rehearsed the moves ahead of the big launch night.

The Strictly girls helped create an elegant formation, while the boys performed a series of tricks and lifts behind the pop superstar.

Kylie has been busy touring the UK, showcasing tracks from her latest album Golden, which was released in April 2018.

This year’s line-up boasts a range of celebrities including Corrie’s Catherine Tyldesley, Made In Chelsea star Jamie Laing and YouTube sensation Saffron Barker.

And it’s all go at Strictly HQ as they also released their first teaser ahead of the first show next month.

The reality show offered fans a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the upcoming promo, which stars the pros in an array of theatrical costumes.

Fan: Tess hugged the pint-sized pop star after she took to the stage

Ecstatic: Kylie looked happy as she shared the lovely moment with Tess

Fan: Tess hugged the pint-sized pop star after she took to the stage and Kylie looked happy as she shared the lovely moment with Tess

Loved-it! The judges and presenters gathered around Kylie to praise her performance

Fan: Tess hugged the pint-sized pop star after she took to the stage and Kylie looked happy as she shared the lovely moment with Tess

The new clip teases Anton Du Beke, Katya Jones, Kevin Clifton, and AJ Pritchard preparing for the first look.

Meanwhile, both Gorka Marquez and Graziano Di Prima weren’t front and centre in the promo after they confirmed that he won’t be partnered with a celebrity for this year’s series.

In a statement he shared on Instagram, Gorka said: ‘For everybody that’s been asking, I can let you know that this series, I sadly won’t be partnered with a celebrity for the main series of Strictly.

‘However, I will still be heavily involved in all of the group numbers and all things Strictly! I’m excited to see this year’s celebs and my fellow professionals dance for the Glitter Ball and I hope to be back fighting for it next year.

‘As always, it’s gonna be a GREAT series.’

Undercover: The production team wanted to keep their outfits a surprise, so the professionals wore oversized T-shirts atop of their outfits

Undercover: The production team wanted to keep their outfits a surprise, so the professionals wore oversized T-shirts atop of their outfits 

Cha-cha-cha: At one point, Kevin and Katya were paired up to dance together

Cha-cha-cha: At one point, Kevin and Katya were paired up to dance together 

Sizzling: Katya demonstrated her sexy nature as she lifted her leg and twirled

Sizzling: Katya demonstrated her sexy nature as she lifted her leg and twirled

Sizzling: Katya demonstrated her sexy nature as she lifted her leg and twirled

Footloose: The professionals took a little breather in between routines

Footloose: The professionals took a little breather in between routines 

Supportive: Debbie McGee, 60, who appeared in the 2017 series of Strictly came along to the event to show support to the new celebrities and professionals

Bold: The star wowed in a bright red off-the-shoulder lace dress

Supportive: Debbie McGee, 60, who appeared in the 2017 series of Strictly came along to the event to show support to the new celebrities 

STRICTLY COME DANCING 2019: WHO ARE THE STARS?

Doing the funny fandango: Chris is known for his career in comedy

Doing the funny fandango: Chris is known for his career in comedy

Name: Chris Ramsey

Age: 32

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

Waltzing from Walford: Emma plays Honey Mitchell on EastEnders

Name: Emma Barton

Age: 42

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

From football to foxtrot: David is a goalkeeper, artist and pundit

Name: David James MBE

Age: 48

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

From the Tube to the twist: Saffron Barker is a YouTube star 

Name: Saffron Barker

Age: 19

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

From the Rovers Return to the rumba: Former Corrie star  Catherine Tyldesley

Name: Catherine Tyldesley

Age: 35

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

Breakfast to ballroom: BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell

Name: Mike Bushell

Age: 53

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

From CBBC to cha cha cha: CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual  

Name: Karim Zeroual 

Age: 25 

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

From Longleat to the Lindy Hop: Viscountess Weymouth Emma Thynn

Name: Viscountess Weymouth Emma Thynn

Age: 33 

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

Not dragging her heels: Michelle Visage is a RuPaul’s Drag Race judge and former Celebrity Big Brother contestant 

Name: Michelle Visage

Age: 50 

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

Going for gold! Table tennis star Will Bayley will be competing in Strictly 2019 

Name: Will Bayley

Age: 31 

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

11th in line: Made In Chelsea’s Jamie Laing has joined the Strictly 2019 line-up 

Name: Jamie Laing

Age: 30 

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

Challenge accepted! Anneka Rice will be back on Saturday night TV this autumn

Name: Anneka Rice

Age: 60 

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

DJ to Dance floor: Dev presents the Radio 1 Weekend Breakfast Show

Name: Dev Griffin

Age: 34 

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

Hot-footed: Alex represented Great Britain in football at the 2012 London Olympics

Name: Alex Scott

Age: 34 

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

Cracking on: Olympic rower James was banned from taking part in Strictly last year

Name: James Cracknell

Age: 47 

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.’

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.