The pro-celebrity ballroom contest returns, as a fresh selection of stars take to the dance floor in the first round of the BBC's flagship autumn talent contest. The line-up this year features former Holby City star Chizzy Akudolu, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks alumnus Gemma Atkinson, 2008 X Factor winner Alexandra Burke, TV and radio comedy star Susan Calman, Radio 4 broadcaster the Rev Richard Coles, TV presenter Brian Conley, EastEnders' Davood Ghadami, Good Morning Britain's Charlotte Hawkins and The Saturdays' singer Mollie King. Also treading the boards are This Morning's Ruth Langsford, Holby City actor Joe McFadden, JLS's Aston Merrygold, Paralympian Jonnie Peacock, TV chef Simon Rimmer, and Debbie McGee, whose late husband and performing partner Paul Daniels previously took to the dancefloor in 2010. This year, the 'Queen of Latin' Shirley Ballas will be replacing Len Goodman on the judges' panel, with Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell all returning to appraise the talents of the amateur dancers and their professional partners.
The show pairs a number of celebrities with professional ballroom dancers who each week compete against each other to impress a panel of judges and the viewing public in order to survive potential elimination. Through telephone voting, viewers vote for whom they would like to stay, the results of the poll being combined with the ranking of the panel of judges.
The show is broadcast live on BBC One on Saturday evenings, and is presented by Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly. The judging panel consists mainly of Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman and Craig Revel Horwood.
Strictly Come Dancing - Meet The Celebs/Launch Synopsis and Schedule