It’s back! The glitziest, sparkliest, most feel-good family entertainment show on the box. Strictly Come Dancing’s 15th series has begun and we already know it’s going to wow us from now until December.
So what’s the secret to the show’s success? Well, essentially it’s just one big wedding reception. Think about it – everybody’s dressed up, your older relatives love every minute of it, and people start off on their best behaviour before going wild on the dance floor.
If Tess and Claudia are the chief bridesmaids, we guess that makes the judges those scary distant relations you have to be nice to – even when they’re ridiculing your shortcomings. And the wedding guests this year include a reverend, a magician’s assistant and a newsreader.
So which of the celebs from the all-new line-up best suits your Strictly style?
Who? One-fifth of girl group The Saturdays.
Partnered with: AJ Pritchard
First dance: The jive, to (of course) Little Richard’s “Good Golly Miss Molly”
Our prediction: Final three, like her bandmate Frankie Bridge, who came second in 2014.
Is this your Strictly style? Your dance experience is limited to the odd shoulder shimmy with some ultra-strength pouting thrown in. If they’re giving prizes in the “don’t break a sweat” school of dance, you’ll be clutching that glitter ball to your perspiration-free chest.
Who? Actor who’s played market trader Kush Kazemi on EastEnders since 2014. Swoon.
Partnered with: Nadiya Bychkova
First dance: The cha-cha-cha, to Lloyd’s “Dedication To My Ex (Miss That)”
Our prediction: Davood will have a built-in fan base. But unless he can move his hips, he may struggle.
Is this your Strictly style? Nailing your heel turns is all well and good but when you’re as buff as Batman, it’s just as important to show off the results of all those hours in the gym, right? But resist the urge to whip off your shirt too soon in the competition.
Who? The most sensible of the This Morning/Loose Women presenters, she’s also married to the man frequently seen alongside her on-screen, Eamonn Holmes.
Partnered with: Anton Du Beke
First dance: The waltz, to Frank Sinatra’s “This Nearly Was Mine”
Our prediction: Ruth is hugely popular with viewers, and we know she’ll embrace the challenge. Will either bow out early or go the distance.
Is this your Strictly style? You’ve kicked off the shackles of your day job and now it’s your Saturday night – you’re going to show ’em you’ve still got it!
Who? Former Hollyoaks and Emmerdale actress.
Partnered with: Aljaž Škorjanec
First dance: The cha-cha-cha, to Shawn Mendes’ “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back”
Our prediction: Gemma is very likeable and will give Strictly her all. But we fear Craig and Bruno may be harsh with their critiques.
Is this your Strictly style? You train hard with the best of them, and wouldn’t normally be seen dead in a dress. But now you’re here, who says it has to be the man who lifts the woman in ballroom dancing?!
Reverend Richard Coles
Who? Former member of 1980s synth-pop group The Communards. Now a broadcaster and Church of England vicar.
Partnered with: Dianne Buswell
First dance: The cha-cha-cha, to Eurythmics’ “There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)”
Our prediction: Already pitching himself as the new John Sergeant/comedy contestant. Rev Coles will last until he starts beating talented dancers, then the public will turn.
Is this your Strictly style? The kids may think you’re sooooo uncool in your Hawaiian shirt… but you’re having fun and that’s what matters. The 80s revival is still happening, right?
Who? Actor who has played surgeon Raffaello “Raf” di Lucca on Holby City since 2014.
Partnered with: Katya Jones
First dance: The jive, to Bobby Day’s “Rockin’ Robin”
Our prediction: The likeable Scottish actor will have the granny vote all sewn up. Could he do as well as Holby’s Tom Chambers, who won the show in 2008?
Is this your Strictly style? Hey, somebody has to do the Dirty Dancing lift, so it might as well be you. Besides, if you wow the crowd enough, those West End roles could follow. Dream big.
Who? Chef and co-presenter of Channel 4’s popular Sunday Brunch.
Partnered with: Karen Clifton
First dance: The paso doble, to, um, Blur’s “Song 2”
Our prediction: Simon has said he’s a “HUUUUGE fan of the show” and we think he’ll be very competitive.
Is this your Strictly style? You may have a few more miles on the clock than some of the other contenders. But there’s a twinkle in your eye and you’ve still got the moves, you charmer.
Who? Former member of boy band JLS, runners-up on The X Factor in 2008.
Partnered with: Janette Manrara
First dance: The foxtrot, to Harry Connick Jr’s “It Had To Be You”
Our prediction: There has been an online backlash over Aston’s dance experience giving him an advantage… so we’ll be sorely disappointed if he doesn’t make the final.
Is this your Strictly style? You want cartwheels? How about backflips? Let’s get this party started! You can worry about doing the waltz when the time comes…
Who? The comedian is a regular on TV panel shows and is one of Radio 4’s best-known comedy voices.
Partnered with: Kevin Clifton
First dance: The Viennese waltz, to Dinah Washington’s “Mad About The Boy”
Our prediction: Gone by week three.
Is this your Strictly style? When you’re known for making people laugh, it can be a hard habit to break. So why not give the people what they want? Never mind the rumba, it’s time to bring back the robot…
Who? Nineties sketch show king and end-of-the-pier-style comedian.
Partnered with: Amy Dowden
First dance: The tango, to Heaven 17’s “Temptation”
Our prediction: Guaranteed to gurn and do the “pick up the phone” gesture while Claudia reads out the numbers to call. First to go home.
Is this your Strictly style? Not one to take yourself too seriously, you like to cover up any dance floor deficiencies by embracing the novelty dance. The Macarena is your go-to number, and if anyone’s going to break out “The Birdie Song”, it’s you.
Who? Newsreader, journalist and anchor on Good Morning Britain.
Partnered with: Brendan Cole
First dance: The foxtrot, to Michael Bublé’s “The Best Is Yet To Come”
Our prediction: Will go out in the penultimate week.
Is this your Strictly style? Tall and graceful, you still feel a little self-conscious on the dance floor. But with the right dance partner, you’ll be gliding like Ginger Rogers in no time.
Who? Actress who played heart surgeon Mo Effanga on Holby City from 2012 until this year.
Partnered with: Pasha Kovalev
First dance: The cha-cha-cha, to The Sylvers’ “Boogie Fever”
Our prediction: Chizzy will throw herself into the show with wild abandon – and could well make the later stages.
Is this your Strictly style? Life’s too short to be a wallflower! You’re going to show ’em how it’s done and strut with style.
Who? We’ll never tire of quoting Mrs Merton’s famous line: “So, Debbie, what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?”
Partnered with: Giovanni Pernice
First dance: The paso doble, to Fergie’s “Be Italian”
Our prediction: There’ll be a lot of goodwill for recently widowed Debbie. She’s a seasoned performer and we hope she does well.
Is this your Strictly style? You’re a woman of a certain age who still likes to bring on the glamour. You’ve had your share of heartache and now you just want to have some fun.
Who? Double Paralympic, World and European T44 100m champion.
Partnered with: Oti Mabuse
First dance: The waltz, to Leo Sayer’s “When I Need You”
Our prediction: An absolute cert for the final. Prepare for plenty of “peacock” puns from Bruno along the way – think strutting, plumage, etc.
Is this your Strictly style? Handsome, full of personality and a trailblazer in the sporting arena – everybody wants to dance with you, and then pose for a selfie.
Who? Winner of The X Factor in 2008, where she beat fellow Strictly contestant Aston. Has since appeared on stage inThe Bodyguard and Sister Act.
Partnered with: Gorka Marquez
First dance: The waltz, to Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”
Our prediction: She’ll never be able to top that moment in The X Factor final when ACTUAL BEYONCE joined her on stage.
Is this your Strictly style? Sassy, self-assured and used to the spotlight, you were born for this moment. Don’t upstage the bride, you say? Honey – they haven’t seen you do the “Single Ladies” routine yet!
Watch Strictly Come Dancing, Saturdays, 6.25pm, BBC One/HD (CH 101/108). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > BBC iPlayer