Strictly Come Dancing returned to our screens tonight for the 10th series, and boy oh boy did it get off to a good start!
With Len Goodman admitting that this series is “the first time I knew every one of the celebrities”, he described the line up as “a buffet of delights”.
First to find out their partners were TV presenter Fern Britton, actress Dani Harmer and Olympic Gold Medallist Victoria Pendleton. Britton, who admits she has “a joy for dancing” was paired with Russian professional Artem Chigvintsev and excitedly told Bruce it’s “like Christmas!” Tracey Beaker star Dani Harmer who told Bruce that she is “really nervous” about taking part in the competition was paired with Vincent Simone and cyclist Victoria Pendleton will be going for gold with Brendon Cole.
Next up to discover which professional they’ll be dancing with were Eastenders star Sid Owen, Westlife member Nicky Byrne and TV presenter Johnny Ball. Confessing, “I can’t really dance, so this is going to be great”, Sid Owen was paired with Ola Jordan and seemed overjoyed with the result. Nicky Byrne admitted that the closest he has ever come to dancing is “standing up in the key change” and got paired with new girl Karen Hower. And as the oldest ever contestant to appear on Strictly Come Dancing, 74-year-old Johnny Ball confessed that he is honoured to be part of it and was paired with Russian professional Aliona Vilani.
The final set of girls to find out their dance partners were Girls Aloud star Kimberly Walsh, actress Lisa Reilly, model Jerry Hall and actress Denise Van Outen. Following a stint as Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical, Kimberly admitted that she can tap dance but has never done ballroom and has “absolutely no idea if I can do it or not. I hope I can”. Kimberly was paired with Pasha Kovalev. Funny girl Lisa Reilly appeared to take a more light hearted look on the competition and said that she wants to do it “for all the chubbers out there”. Overjoyed, Lisa was paired with Robin Windsor. Jerry Hall said, “I am certainly going to give it my all” and seemed happy to be paired with Strictly legend Anton Du Beke. After appearing in Chicago in The West End, Denise admitted that people assume that she should be able to dance but “even in Chicago, I sat on a chair. That says it all about my dance ability”. Denise was paired with cheeky chappy James Jordan.
Finally, cricketer Michael Vaughan, Olympic gymnast Louis Smith, TV presenter Richard Arnold and Hollywood star Colin Salmon found out who they will be partnered up with. Telling us that his favourite judge “is Len. Love him. Seven”, Vaughan became paired with Natalie Lowe. Olympic silver medallist Louis Smith confessed that he is in the game to win it and was paired with Flavia Cacase who seemed more than happy with her partner. Daybreak’s Richard Arnold was paired with Erin Boag and Colin Salmon who said that he is “looking forward to showing the nicer side of myself on Strictly” was paired with Kristina Rhianoff.
The judges appeared to be ecstatic with the pairings and told host Bruce Forsyth that they are really looking forward to this series. Known ‘Mr Nasty’ judge Craig Revel Horward did however confess that, “There is potential for disaster in every pairing. Jerry and Anton spring to mind and Richard and Erin”.
The couples now have three weeks to be trained up, and the first live show will be on 6th October.
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